Puri Heritage Corridor Project: Odisha Govt to File Caution in SC
Bhubaneshwar: The state government has initiated the process of filing a caveat with the Supreme Court, as it is entirely possible for a PIL to be filed by any individual/group/organization against the May 9 order of the High Court of Orissa in relation to 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) instructed him to contact Gourav Khanna, Registered Solicitor (AoR), Supreme Court with copy of the judgment and other relevant documents and instructions, if any, to enable him to file a caveat with the Supreme Court in time under the High Court order.
On May 9, while hearing a petition against construction by the state government under the heritage corridor project around Jagannath Temple in Puri, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had submitted an affidavit stating that construction is in progress. by the government of Odisha allegedly without permission from the relevant authorities.
As there was some confusion over the report submitted by the ASI as to whether the construction would cause a damaging impact on the temple, the High Court asked it to refile the report on this point. The next hearing in this case is scheduled for June 20.
It is pertinent to mention here that a resident of Puri had approached the High Court asking for their intervention in the construction of public facilities which would be within a radius of 75 meters from the temple.
The petitioner alleged that the state government carried out construction work in the prohibited area of the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple, a centrally protected monument, allegedly without seeking prior permission from the ASI.
The petitioner argued that it was illegal as it violated the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, which prohibited any new construction within 100 meters of a protected monument.
The project has also sparked controversy with the opposition BJP and Congress alleging that standards are being violated which threatens the security of the Shree Jagannath Temple.
However, the state government claimed that the work was carried out according to law.