Encroachment removal drive sparks tension at ISKCON temple

Kalinga TV News Network

Bhubaneswar: Tension prevailed at the ISKCON temple premise this morning, as the authorities started demolition drive of illegal constructions of the temple, in a move to solve the waterlogging problem on NH-16 which reached an alarming proportion recently.

A joint enforcement squad of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) took part in the encroachment removal efforts which started in the morning despite protests from the temple officials and devotees.

A memorial (Samadhi Peetha) was also demolished during the process later with the help of at least three JCB machines.

Later police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the crowd which included mostly devotees.

The action on the part of the BMC followed its two ‘show cause’ notices served to ISKCON as well as the Hotel Presidency authorities on July 25. In the notices, both the authorities had been told to submit replies on the encroachment as well as unauthorised construction on the land earmarked as ‘Right of Way’ adjoining the NH-16.

The encroachment causes accumulation of rain water on the highway and prevents free flow of water, the notice claimed.

While the BMC authorities claim of despatching the notice on July 25, the temple authorities have claimed that they got it yesterday and failed to make necessary arrangements.

As per the BDA sources, the drive would include all illegal encroachments from Indradhanu Market to Jayadev Vihar area in the due course.


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