Odisha government has asked all district Collectors to ensure that encroachment in and around all important monuments are removed immediately.

The state government’s order came in response to a Central direction. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on encroachment or unauthorised construction near centrally protected monuments had earlier identified mass encroachment near important monuments.

The Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, had recently written a letter to Odisha Chief Secretary to take steps for removal of such encroachments.

Sources said Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Tourism Department Aravind Kumar Padhi has issued letters for protection of historical monuments of Odisha, requesting all Collectors to look into the matter on the proposals forwarded by the Archaeological Survey of India, Bhubaneswar Circle. According to provisions of the Act, in case of any encroachment within the limit of protected monument or any unauthorized construction within the limit of prohibited area has to be demolished. -PTI