Odisha: Massive eviction drive in Puri to pave way to develop Puri into World Heritage City

Puri: The district administration, which has been carrying out a massive eviction drive around the Shree Jagannath Temple here, removed encroachments which had come up on Government land near the sea beach at Baliapanda on Saturday.

A Yatri Nivas which had come up on over one acre of land at Baliapanda was demolished in a joint operation by the district administration and Puri Municipality officials.

The lease period of the Yatri Nivas had lapsed in 2014. The facility was operating illegally for the last five years, informed sources.

An official informed that a multistoried parking lot and a market complex would come up on the vacated land. The project would be completed at a cost of Rs 265 crore sanctioned by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik under the Augmentation Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme.

Some illegal encroachments at Sipasaurubali under the Brahmagiri Mouza were also demolished on the day. The eviction is likely to pave way for execution of several welfare projects, including widening of road, bridges and a Loka Seva Bhawan, among others.

It should be noted that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced a Rs 500 crore mega plan to develop Puri into a World Heritage City.The announcement that came on Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna celebrated across the country, was welcomed by the people as a significant step to list the 12-century Jagannath temple on the global tourist map.

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