July 21, 2022
The National Monument Authority (NMA) under the Ministry of Culture has refused any new construction within the banned and regulated areas of the Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar.
Over the years, several modern structures have been erected on all four sides of the ornate 11th-century temple, in significant violation of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act.
NMA also continues to receive requests from locals for new construction within 100 yards of the centrally protected monument. NMA reviewed a recent application submitted by residents of Hatasahi in the old town to build a skyscraper in the regulated area, and considering the structural stability of the temple, no new constructions beyond the height of 7.5 mtr can be allowed in close proximity of the protected monument.
There are also two centrally protected monuments, Mukteswar Temple and Siddeshwar Temple and one government-protected monument , Kedar Gauri in the Rajarani regulated area.
Earlier this year, the NMA published a draft charter for the temple. The Charter also mentions being surrounded by densely populated residential, commercial and office buildings. Concerned about the fact that the 59-foot-high temple is largely hidden due to modern construction and is almost invisible, the NMA said the regulated area is vulnerable towards development and other related activities.
The draft bylaws are yet to be placed before the Parliament for final approval.
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