Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) have started initiating the process to make ‘Ekamrakshetra’, the abode of Lord Lingaraj and heritage hub of the Temple City, beggar-free on a priority basis.
The move is part of the beautification and developmental work of the state government’s Ekamrakshetra Amenities and Monumental Revival Action (EKAMRA) Plan.
Efforts are on to rehabilitate the beggars/destitute roaming around the temple by providing livelihood support and bring them to the mainstream under ‘Sahaya’ scheme of the state government.
The BMC has started survey in Old Town area to identify beggars and homeless people. The civic body will help the beggars who want to return to their homes, and those who don’t wish to return will be rehabilitated in shelter homes.
The administration has deployed non-government organisations (NGOs) and government officials in identifying beggars and shifting them to shelter homes.
Meanwhile, about 90 per cent of land acquisition work has been completed for the Ekamrakshetra Heritage Project. The remaining will be completed by end of this month under the Ekamra Kshetra Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, said a BMC official, who is nodal officer for Land Acquisition.
Meanwhile, the land acquisition process and pre-construction work on the 60-ft alternate road starting from Sanitarium Chhak to Lingaraj temple has started. The development of an alternate road will help pedestrians and devotees reach the temple smoothly.
To make the land acquisition process hassle-free for elderly and senior citizens, the BMC officials are reaching their doorsteps to complete the paperwork considering their healthcare need and limitations during this pandemic time.
“We are very pleased and satisfied the way BMC has helped us in finalising the paperwork and making the agreement for land acquisition,” said Priyabrata Mahapatra, who is giving 38 decimal of plot near Bindusagar lake for construction of the alternate road.
The City administration has requested traders and business establishments in the Ekamrakshetra to replace the signage by uniform heritage, interpretative, directional signage in the area.
Heritage signage should be designed in such a way that it would respect the age, architecture, and scale of historic building as well as the historic nature of the overall streetscape.