Orissa HC advances hearing on Puri corridor project by a week

by Dikhyaa Mohanty

The Orissa High Court advanced the date for hearing of the case relating to the heritage corridor project around the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri to May 9.

According to the reports, the hearing of the petition that sought the intervention of the court claiming that the work on the project is affecting the health of the temple was adjourned last week and was scheduled for May 16.

An order passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice R K Pattanaik passed the order during the day after the petitioner’s advocate made an urgent mention and submitted some more documents in support of his argument.

The High Court once again directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to undertake a joint visit along with officials of the State government to the site and file its affidavit at least two days before May 9. Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) for the Union of India P K Parhi informed the Court that he will communicate the order to the ASI by Wednesday itself.

Dilip Kumar Baral, a resident of Puri, had approached the High Court seeking its intervention in the construction of public amenities that would come up within a 75-meter radius of the temple. The petitioner contended it was illegal as it violated the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, which prohibited new construction within 100 meters of a protected monument.

The constructions included a cloakroom, mini cloakroom, sevayat room, toilets for men, women, and servitors, a shelter pavilion, and a pavement area.

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