Bhubaneswar: The State Government has initiated the process to file Caveat in the Supreme Court as there is every possibility that a PIL may be filed by any individual/group/organisation against the May 9 order of the Orissa High Court in connection with the Puri Heritage Corridor project.
Additional Secretary of Works Department, Bimalendu Ray, in a letter to EIC-cum-MD of Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation Limited (OB&CC) asked him to contact Gourav Khanna, Advocate-on-Record (AoR), Supreme Court, with certified copy of judgement and other relevant records and instructions, if any, to enable him to file Caveat before the Supreme Court in time in connection with the High Court order.
On May 9, during the hearing of a petition against the construction being carried out by the State Government under the heritage corridor project around the Jagannath temple in Puri, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had submitted an affidavit stating the construction is being carried out by the Odisha government allegedly without permission from the competent authorities.
As there was some confusion over the report submitted by the ASI regarding whether the construction will cause any damaging impact on the temple, the High Court asked it to file the report on that point again. The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled for June 20.
It is pertinent to mention here that a resident of Puri had approached the High Court seeking its intervention in the construction of public amenities that would come up within 75-metre radius of the temple.
The petitioner has alleged that the State government had carried out construction works within the prohibited zone of the 12th Century Shree Jagannath Temple, a centrally protected monument, allegedly without seeking prior permission from the ASI.
The petitioner has contended that it was illegal as it violated the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, which prohibited new construction within 100 metre of a protected monument.
The project has also courted controversy with the opposition BJP and the Congress levelling allegations that norms are being violated which threatens the safety of the Shree Jagannath Temple.
However, the state government has claimed that works are being done as per the law.