Puri eviction: Odisha CM announces rehabilitation package for displaced

Bhubaneswar: Amidst eviction drive around Srimandir in pilgrim city Puri, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced a special rehabilitation package for the protection zone of centuries old shrine.

He announced the Relief & rehabilitation policy along with Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 to acquire land and other properties under Srimandir Protection Zone in Puri.

“As Srimandir is a major heritage site, its security can not be compromised at any cost,” the state government made it clear in a release.

As per the order, the demolished mutts, houses, shops will be provided additional financial assistance under special rehabilitation policy along with the package announced by the government recently.

The government on August 23 had announced a package to make Puri as world’s heritage city. Under the policy, the government will provide compensation to persons and organisations for eviction of buildings and structures acquired for Srimandir.

All the families will be provided compensation under the special Relief and Rehabilitation scheme. Also, the authorities will provide Rs 50,000 as transport assistance for relocation.

In the policy, the government made it clear that the families will receive Rs 10,000 as monthly rent assistance till they get land and house against land acquisition. However, it will not be applicable to the family receiving assistance at one time.

Under Rehabilitation scheme, the displaced families will be given three options to receive compensation from the government. As per the policy, the family can avail Rs 30 lakh assistance or they will be offered a 520 sqft area house at a proposed rehabilitated colony located within 1.5 km area off Srimandir or a 40 X 25 ft land within 2 km of the shrine.

For the victims whose shops have been demolished in ongoing eviction drive in Puri, the government announced to provide Rs 50,000 as compensation for transport and other expenses.

For the shops running at buildings on rent, the owners will have two options to chose as per their convenience.

Similarly, the government announced Rs 30,000 assistance for small vendors, who have been displaced in the eviction drive.

A special provision has been made for rehabilitation of mutts that have been razed to the ground. Further decision will be made by the district collector after consulting with the concern parties.

As per the policy, the manuscripts and deities of bulldozed mutts will be preserved. Along with building a parking system at mutts, they will be provided shops at market complex for their financial security.

The package will be executed by the district collector. Necessary changes can be made in the package by the district head on the recommendation by central revenue commissioner after discussing with concern parties.

The government will provide 10 percent more financial assistance along with the package under the policy to those who will hand over their properties located under Srimandir Protection zone within a month of publication of the notification.

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