29 August 2019
Puri: Demolition of Emar Mutt and Raghunandan Library began on Thursday as part of the eviction drive of all structures within the 75 metre radius of the Meghanad Pacheri (the perimeter wall of the Jagannath temple).
The razing began in the presence of over 30 platoons of police force. Necessary arrangements have also been made to divert the traffic. In a bid to make Puri a 'World Heritage City', it is pertinent to remove the unauthorised and unsafe structures, said Puri Collector Balwant Singh.
The demolition of the four-storeyed Mutt began with the top floor. The main deity will be preserved and all rituals can take place accordingly, ensured the Collector.
The district administration spared no effort for relocation and safe preservation of over 5000 rare and valuable books, documents and palm leaf manuscripts etc. belonging to the nearly century-old Raghunandan Library located within the premises of the historic Emar Mutt.
Notably, the library was set up in 1921 in the British colonial era by the then Mahant of the Emar Mutt in memory of his guru Raghunandan. The historic Emar Mutt is claimed to be 710 years old as of now and has strong association with Jagannath culture and the Lord’s rituals.
While some said that demolition of structures would lead to loss of history, the Collector assured rehabilitation and restoration soon.