Demolition near Srimandir to begin today
Puri: In deference to the state Cabinet’s approval for making land up to 75-metre from Meghanad Pacheri (boundary wall of Srimandir) encroachment-free, the district administration will begin demolition of structures within the radius Tuesday.
According to sources, around 20 platoons of police force will be deployed to tackle any eventuality, while at least 20 earthmovers will be drafted for razing the structures. The structures to be razed include many mutts, hotel, lodgings, shops and dharmashalas.
Sources said the district administration had Sunday asked the shops operating from Languli mutt and Emar mutt to vacate the premises by 1pm Monday. Around 20 shops from Languli mutt and six from Emar mutt were vacated by Monday evening.
Meanwhile, condemning the state government’s move, several shopkeepers staged a sit-in near Srimandir’s Lions’ Gate.
When asked, district Collector Balwant Singh said that the Tuesday’s demolition drive will begin with razing the dilapidated Languli mutt. “The district administration will ensure that the mutt mahant and inmates were adequately compensated and relocated as well. The rituals at the mutt’s main temple will continue as usual,” Singh said.
About the shopkeepers, the district Collector said that they would do the needful after getting the list of shops operating from Languli mutt.
Notably, the demolition aims at facilitating free movement to pilgrims, visitors as well as ensuring safety of the 12th century shrine.