Odisha CM announces ₹500-cr package for Puri development

Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar | Updated on August 23, 2019

Amid protests over the governments eviction drive near Puri Shri Jagannath Temple, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged people to cooperate and make sacrifices for the upkeep and security of the 12th century shrine.

Patnaik also announced a ₹500-crore special package for rehabilitation of the affected and developing the temple town into a world heritage site.

The Odisha government has decided to evict people and demolish all structures within a 75-metre radius of the temple’s boundary wall.

Patnaik said security has to be tightened in view of terrorist threats to religious institutions across the globe.

“Terrorism poses a big challenge to the world. Terrorists have no religion. They are targeting different religious institutions. Therefore, it is essential to take measures to secure the temple,” he said after chairing a high-level meeting here, which was attended by Chief Secretary AK Tripathy and DGP BK Sharma among others.

“It is a fact that some people will be affected by this eviction drive. However, I appeal to them to cooperate and come forward to make sacrifices for the security of the temple,” a statement said quoting Patnaik.

Last week, protests were held against the eviction drive. People said that the government should have arranged for a public hearing before taking any decision. The ₹500-crore special package will cover expenses of rehabilitation, development of multi-lane roads, bridges, parking lots and revival of rivers and lakes in the town, the official statement said.

Published on August 23, 2019

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