Odisha opposes bylaws for Lord Jagannath Temple

BHUBANESWAR

The Odisha government, state’s two major political parties and servitors of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri on Sunday strongly objected to the National Monuments Authority’s draft heritage bylaws, which prohibits any construction activity in the 100 metre periphery of the 12th-century shrine.

The NMA under the Union Ministry of Culture has published the draft heritage bylaws of Centrally Protected Monument Shri Jagannath Temple and subsidiary shrines together with adjacent area in Puri in its website nma.gov.in and has invited suggestions and comments from the public till February 18.

The National Monuments Authority said the draft heritage bylaws have been prepared as per Section 20(E) of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 2010 and Rule 18 of National Monuments Authority (Appointment, Function and Conduct of Business) Rules, 2011.

Sharply reacting over the proposed draft, the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in a letter to the member secretary, NMA urged him to withdraw the notification immediately "to protect the interest of the Lords, sevayaks and devotees at large."

"I request you to immediately withdraw the draft notification under reference. If National Monuments Authority is still of the considered view that any further regulatory framework of any nature is required and further the cause of 'Mula Peetha' (original seat) of Shree Jagannath) at Puri, you are invited for a detailed consultation and discussion with members of Shree Jagannath Temple Management Committee (SJTMC) before any such fresh attempt is made," SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said in a letter.

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