Official calls for renovation of cross drains

The 12th century Jagannath Temple, despite being nerve centre of coastal Puri town, does not have a proper drainage system in its surrounding.

When Housing and Urban Development Secretary I. Srinivas paid a visit temple recently, he came across shocking details about drainage system connecting temple. According to his tour note submitted to State government, “the drainage system around the temple is in a very poor shape and clogged at several locations, which is often resulting in drain water overflowing to the road and also obstructing smooth drainage of water released by the temple.”

“A major drainage work is being undertaken in Puri under JNNURM programme at a total cost of approximately Rs.135 crore but unfortunately the drains surrounding the temple are not covered. This is a reflective of faulty planning because the Jagannath Temple is the nerve centre of the Puri town and has the highest density in terms of residents and pilgrims visiting the temple,” Mr. Srinivas pointed out.

He emphasised the need for taking up of renovation of the drains, including cross drains across the road on a priority basis.

Instructing engineers to take up immediate action to prepare a plan for strengthening cleanliness drive around the temple, the HUD secretary said, “the cleanliness, including regular cleaning of the drains, requires to be intensified. Mechanised cleaning may be undertaken to keep the area spic-and-span.” Besides the issue of poor drainage system, Mr. Srinivas also drew attention on crowding of space in front of temple by street vendors.

“There is a huge problem of street vendors, especially vegetable sellers, squatting around the perimeter of the outer wall of the temple thereby, causing traffic congestion and also messing up the entire area,” he mentioned in his note.

“There is also a lot of unauthorised parking around the temple, which the municipality is not able to prevent. Entire area should be declared as a no vending zone and no parking zone and engage municipal staff to prevent unauthorised vending or parking,” the HUD secretary mooted. He asked the Chief Administrator of Jagannath Temple Administration to review the situation and special measures to completely sanitise the surroundings of the temple.