Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday announced a special package for redevelopment of the 11th century Lingaraj temple and its periphery in over 66-acre in Old Town.
Presiding over a meeting here, Naveen announced nine projects under Ekamra Kshetra Yojana which includes Lingaraj Entry Plaza, Bindu Sagar Revival Plan, parking projects, Lingaraj heritage complex, Kedar Gauri & Mukteswar Complex, relocation of government offices and a Heritage Interpretation Centre.
The government has decided to redevelop structures in front of the temple’s main entrance for a free darshan by visitors. Several heritage water bodies including Bindu Sagar lake, Papnasini, Godavari, Koti Tirtha, Devipadahara and Ganga-Jamuna near the temple will be redeveloped.
The administration has demolished a market complex near the shrine recently. Efforts have been made to clear encroachments, said the sources.
Similarly, as part of the relocation project, Lingaraj police station and Sri Lingaraj Temple Trust Board office will be rebuilt. To lessen traffic and better vehicle movement, a road will be laid from Taleswara Chhak to Badehibanka Chhak. Also, parking slots will be designated at four places.
Lingaraj heritage complex will be set up to facilitate smooth darshan for devotees, the sources said. The government has approved the rehabilitation package for people affected by the demolition drive around the temple. The street vendors will get Rs 30,000 in two installments as compensation and they will be rehabilitated in vending zone to be set up in the area. Shopkeepers who had built pucca shops will get Rs 10,000 per month for one year during which a new market complex will be built for them. BMC and Tourism Department will jointly construct the market complex. People who have lost their house and land in the demolition drive, will be compensated, they said.
The Chief Minister made an emotional appeal to residents of Bhubaneswar who are likely to be affected in the ongoing eviction drive for beautification of area surrounding the Lingaraj Temple.