Shrimandir Parikrama project: Culture deptt writes again to NMA seeking permission

Puri: After remaining silent for quite some days, the state Culture department has written a letter again to National Monuments Authority (NMA) seeking the latter’s permission for 14 new construction and two repair works, an official informed today.

Director of the department Ranjan Kumar Das wrote to the Member Secretary of NMA vide his office letter (No-3948/25.07.2022), following long-debated controversy over Shri Jagannath Reception Centre and subsequent decision of Shrimandir Parikrama project’s cultural advisory committee.

It was decided in recently convened meeting of the advisory committee to shift the reception centre to elsewhere from 100 meter-wide prohibited zone. A new reception centre was to be constructed in the regulated zone and the decision has been changed, the senior official stated.

However, this has raised the eyebrows of many servitors of Jagannath temple including devotees across Odisha as the State government had previously sought Archeological Survey of India (ASI)’s permission for the construction works under Shrimandir Parikrama project.

According to sources, permission for construction and repair works to be taken up in the days ahead was sought as per provisions envisaged in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958 and its Amendment carried out in 2010.

The official letter contains details of freshly proposed 14 constructions including new reception centre and renovation of two ancient mutts located in close vicinity of the temple. Except a proposed new building of the Temple Administration, remaining of new construction works are to be carried out in the prohibited zone and permission has been sought for the purpose. New building of the Temple Administration is to be constructed in regulated zone, the letter revealed.

Freshly proposed constructions include a large cloakroom, a mini cloakroom, Shri Jagannath Reception Centre, information and donation kiosks, shelter pavilion, separate toilets for men and women, police aid centres, ATM kiosks, an electrical room, a first-aid centre and pavements.

Renovation works will be carried out at Badachhata Mutt and Chhauni Mutt.

Notably, the reception centre is to be constructed at south-east corner of the Jagannath temple.

A patch of land measuring about 2638.911 square metre adjacent to Emar Mutt has been demarcated for the 13.208-high reception centre’s three-storey (G+2) building.

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