The National Monument Authority (NMA) has not issued any Objection Certificate (NoC) to the Government of Odisha for its development and beautification projects at Jagannath Temple in Puri, Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar and Sun Temple in Konark, but with riders.
NMA NOCs have ended controversy over suspected illegal construction near Shree Jagannath visitor center near the 12th century shrine in Puri, but new structures will need to be moved slightly away from the previous site, an official said. state government.
Complaints have been filed in the High Court against the “irregularities”, with petitioners claiming that construction work on the project has affected the health of the temple.
Puri Collector Samarth Varma said, “We have received a NoC for the Heritage Corridor from the National Monument Authority. Now work will resume at full steam. One of the responsibilities of the NMA, which falls under the Ministry of Culture, is to consider granting permits to applicants for construction-related activities in prohibited and restricted areas.
Sree Jagannath Visitor Center will now rise in the restricted area of the monument instead of the prohibited area.
“The Authority has recommended the granting of a NoC for the construction of the Shree Jagannatha Visitor Center in the restricted area at a distance of 101.50 meters from the protected monument,” says the NMA document available from PTI.
According to the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, the area within 100 meters of a monument is a “prohibited” area while that within 200 meters falls under the category “regulated”.
However, the state government had previously planned to locate the visitor center in the prohibited area.
The NMA has set terms and conditions for heritage projects saying that all new structures to be built must be non-intrusive and free of any heavy architecture, undertake temporary structures where possible, and use heavy machinery for digging work should be avoided.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the titular King of Puri, Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb, had laid the foundation stone for the project last year which aims to provide better amenities for pilgrims, including toilets and changing rooms.
In the face of protests and opposition, the state government submitted a new proposal for the visitor center and requested permission to move the proposed structure to the restricted area from the prohibited area in April.
The NMA made the decision at a meeting held on September 9.
Apart from this, the NMA has also issued a NoC to execute development works in the forbidden area of the 11th century Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar. The Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation (OBCC) had submitted a revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the NMA.
Construction of a heritage park and entrance plaza and other elements for the temple were also approved.
Similarly, the NMA has also authorized the construction of a pedestrian bridge, a transit center, a boulevard, a landscape plaza and an information center in the restricted area of Konark Sun Temple, 13th century World Heritage Site.
The NMA said the works should be carried out under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India to mitigate any negative impact on the protected monuments.
Bhubaneswar BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi who had raised the issue of ‘illegal construction’ at Jagannath temple in Lok Sabha thanked NMA for requesting Odisha government to move the visitor center to the area regulated from the prohibited area.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)