Odisha sun Times Bureau
Narangarh, March 7:
The quarry lease tussle between Odisha mining corporation and the Jagannath temple administration has shackled the hands of renowned sculptors and craftsmen of the Narangarh village in Khurdha district.
Even though modernity is slowly overpowering the traditional culture, the villagers of Narangarh known for their skills in traditional stone crafting are not ready to give in.
They are still in a hurry to craft the stones, but the controversy over Bhogapur quarries which is now under the state mining department has chained up their hands.
Sculptors use stones from Bhogapur quarries near Narangarh which was leased by the state co-operative Utkalika. Later, the quarries were taken by the Odisha mining corporation and the prices were hiked three times.
For the last one year the quarries have been under the legal custody over the ownership controversy between the state mining department and the temple administration.
Unfortunately this has resulted in the sculptors and craftsmen being jobless. Some of them have taken up to the profession of being masons, but are not very happy.
“Due to unavailability of stones for carving, sculptors may leave the state in search of livelihood,” said veteran sculptor Suryakanta Paltasingh.