Sacrifice For Lingaraj Temple’s Security & Heritage: Odisha CM Appeals Bhubaneswar Denizens

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made an emotional appeal to those Bhubaneswar residents who are likely to be affected in the on-going eviction drive for development and beautification of area surrounding the Lingaraj Temple, to make a sacrifice for sake of the 1,000-year-old shrine’s security.

“I know some families are likely to be affected. But, their sacrifice is crucial to ensure the temple’s security. We should keep the temple protected for our future generation. You should feel like doing it as a Seva (service) to Lord Lingaraj and the sacred monument,” read Naveen’s appeal.

“Our heritage is our pride and greatest identity. It is our duty to efficiently preserve our glorious heritage for which the State Government has planned ‘Ekmara Kshetra’ development project over 66 acres,” said Naveen.

The State Government has planned a mega redevelopment plan for the 12th Century shrine. This includes:

  • Visible and attractive entrance;
  • Bindusagar pond rejuvenation;
  • Renovation of ancient water bodies;
  • Ultra-modern parking;
  • Lingaraj heritage project;
  • Peripheral development of Mukteswar and Kedar Gouri temples;
  • E-auto programme;
  • Heritage interpretation centre;
  • Amenities development for devotees; and
  • Rehabilitation (for the affected people).

The shopkeepers who are going to be affected under this project will be compensated with cash Rs 30,000 in two instalments. They will also be getting shops in vending zones which will be constructed soon. Those owner of brick and mortar (pucca) shops will get Rs 10,000 per month for one year in terms of rent. They will be rehabilitated in the proposed market complex to be constructed by the Tourism Department.

The local administration will hold meetings with titleholders (owner of residential and commercial buildings) and provide compensation as per applicable provisions of the law.

Under this project, Lingaraj police station and Lingaraj Temple Trust Board office will be relocated. To reduce traffic volume and ease commuting a road will be constructed from Taleswar Square to Badheibanka square. Besides, parking areas will be established at four locations.

“Right in front of the temple a garden will be built, and the area will be beautified. The project includes a ‘parikrama pathway’ for devotees to circumambulate the ancient shrine. The movement of vehicles will be completely restricted on the road in front of the temple. Focus will be laid of facilities for tourists and hassle-free ‘darshan’ for devotees.”

The Chief Minister chaired a high-level meeting at Lok Seva Bhawan here and discussed about the development project of Lingaraj Temple. It was decided at the meeting that the development of Lingaraj Temple will be taken up in the same lines as Puri Jagannath Temple project.

Housing and Urban Development Department Minister Pratap Jena, Minister and Local MLA Ashok Chandra Panda, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, Development Commissioner Suresh Mohapatra, Works Secretary Dr Krishan Kumar and Municipal Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary were present at the meeting.

Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister, Science & Technology, Odisha

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