The land was to have been used for setting upsand art park of international standard

Frustrated over the government’s “restrictive clauses,” international sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik returned the piece of land that was granted to him with Cabinet approval for development sand art park in Puri.

The artist, in a representation addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said he was no more interested in the land as he could not do anything with the kind of conditions put by the administration.

In 2011, the State Cabinet gave its approval for leasing land measuring 60 decimal to the artist for development of an international standard sand park. The same year, Mr. Pattnaik, who played a key role in popularising sand art, registered the land in his name.

But he was shocked to see certain conditions put forth by the government. “As per the conditions, I cannot do permanent construction on the land. The land was for 10 years only and the lease period was extendable to 20 years,” he said.

“At the time of registration, government officials had assured me that the conditions would be waived if I represent my case in the proper forum. During the past two years, I had approached several persons. But there was no response,” said Mr. Pattnaik.

“The land is far away from the sea coast and it falls in a residential area. For sand art park, I need to set up sand art gallery and training centre, which require certain amount of construction. If I cannot do any permanent construction, there is no sense in keeping the land with me,” said the aggrieved artist.

He alleged that the government had been insensitive to development of art and culture in the State. I was given the piece of land after my 15 years of struggle. Finally, when the land was allotted, I was not allowed to do anything.

Mr. Pattnaik said he had a dream to create sand art park of international standard and the park would have attracted scores of tourists from the country and outside. The Tourism Department also gave a cold shoulder to his proposal, he charged.

Recently, the sand artist won the Danish grand prize at Copenhagen.

The land is far away from the sea coast. For sand art park, I need to set up sand art gallery and training centre. If I cannot do any permanent construction, there is no sense in keeping the land with me

Sudarshan Pattnaik

Sand artist