Puri Demolition Drive: Administration Offers 2 Options To Evicted Shopkeepers For Rehabilitation

27 August 2019


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Puri: As the demolition drive is underway around Shree Mandir (Jagannath Temple), the district administration has offered two options to the evicted shopkeepers for their rehabilitation.

The demolition process has begun soon after the recent go-ahead given by the State Cabinet in order to implement Justice B.P. Das Commission’s recommendations for the safety and security of the world-renowned shrine.

In addition, the Chief Minister has announced rehabilitation package on Janmastami Day besides appealing the denizens of the pilgrim city to sacrifice for the sake of Lord Jagannath so that the deities as well as the historic temple remain safe and sound.   

Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Puri Collector Balwant Singh said, “The shopkeepers have voluntarily vacated their shops before demolition of Nanguli Mutt. They are on their way to be settled as per their choice. However, we are in discussion with them and have offered two options. Either to select their next spot and we will be providing monthly rental support or wait for their final rehabilitation. But, the project will be executed in future that would take some time.”

He added, “The second option we have offered them is that we have some government accommodation at the shopping complex here. If claimants are many, we’ll go in for a lottery and make provision for the shops. This is to be finalized in a day or two. This transitional arrangement we are making. They have to better choose the location. Whatever location we would provide, they might choose or not. However, we have offered them two options. Accordingly, we will talk to them.”

The Collector made it clear, “Final rehabilitation at the new market complex will take time, one and half year minimum. Hon’ble CM has approved of the market complex. It will be put in for tender call notice. After then, we’ll accommodate everyone there. No problem.”

“For the transitional rehabilitation, we are in search of the space near the Bada Danda (Grand Road) area. Now the demolition is of only the unsafe structures. We have not yet finalized about demolishing the private houses within the notified 75 mtrs of radius around the Meghanada Pacheri (Jagannath Temple),” he further clarified.    

On today’s development of the demolition drive, the Puri Collector informed, “Today we began demolishing Nanguli Mutt from 6 am. It has often been declared unsafe structure, but we weren’t disturbing it. We used to keep it intact by enforcing extra support during Rath Yatra. The technical committee once again verified it and found it unsafe for which it required immediate removal. We consulted with the Mahant of the Mutt as well as the shopkeepers. They were convinced and supported also. They themselves vacated everything and at 6 am today we started the demolition. It’ll continue. The main deity of the Mutt will be preserved by us.”

He further stated, “We are also examining the structure of Emar Mutt. If it is found unsafe, action will also be taken against it accordingly. The structures are being demolished as they are found to be unsafe.”

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Balwant Singh, Collector, Puri