Watch Towers for Puri Jagannath Temple

The Government of Orissa has decided to construct watch towers to protect Puri Jagannath temple from terrorists’ attacks. The government higher officials expressed hope that the new idea of building watch towers will work out easily and keep the 12th century Jagannath temple.

Economic Times published:

Alarmed by possible terrorists threats to the 12th century Jagannath Temple at Puri, Orissa government on Monday decided to construct four watch towers around the temple to keep an alert and round-the-clock vigil over it. The towers would be constructed on the four corners of Meghanath Pacheri, a high fortified wall.

In a high-level meeting, chief secretary, B K Patnaik reviewed security arrangement of Sri Mandir, the abode of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra in the presence of senior officials including director general of police, M M Praharaj. The meeting also resolved that the area from the Lion’s Gate of the temple up to Raj Nawar (king’s palace) will be declared as ‘no-parking’ zone. In a major decision, the state government will take over that all Hindu religious institutes, including Maths.

“The decisions were taken in accordance with the recommendations of the Board of Revenue Member that probed death of several devotees during the Nagajuna Vesha festival of Lord Jagannath in 1995. The new arrangements will help consolidate discipline and order in and around the temple. It will enable the temple administration to smoothly handle the 2015 Naba Kalebar festival,” Mr Patnaik told reporters after the meeting.

Nava Kalebara is celebrated once in every twelve to nineteen years. During the festival, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra are replaced by new one.

The high-level meeting decided to destroy all the old and dilapidated buildings in Puri for the safety of the pilgrims. In order to address the congestion on the National Highway No. 62 between Bhubaneswar and Puri road, it was decided expedite the four-landing of the road.

“Apart from all this, for beautification of the pilgrim city Puri, it was decided to improve lighting system, boarding, healthcare services and develop communication networks. The crucial decision the meeting took is that binoculars will be fitted at strategic places in the city to keep vigil on the movement of terrorist and other suspected elements,” the chief secretary said.

The huge temple complex covers an area of over 400,000 square feet and has at least 120 temples and shrines. The main shrine is enclosed by a 20 feet high wall and another wall surrounds the main temple.

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