Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Dec 13:
Armed with National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders against coastal regulation zone (CRZ) violators, the Puri Konark Development Authority (PKDA) Friday kick started its demolition drive with an under construction four-storey hotel building near the Sunara Gouranga temple on Chakratirtha Road in Odisha’s coastal town Puri.
The NGT, in a recent order, had directed PKDA to demolish all identified illegal constructions which were in violation of CRZ norms.
While adjudicating on a complaint by one Subhas Dutta of Kolkata that large scale illegal constructions in violation of CRZ norms have come up along the Puri beach and that pollution caused due to the Swargadwar cremation ground and effluents from Shree Jagannath temple was creating environment pollution, the NGT had directed PKDA to demolish all identified illegal constructions and coastal regulation zone violators.
A total of 316 such structures/buildings along the beach were identified by the PKDA and demolition notices were served on them. Most of these buildings are hotels and other commercial establishments.
Many hotel owners have filed cases in various forums like High court and in the urban secretary’s court challenging the PKDA order, which are pending till date.
PKDA secretary Brundaban Barik said 33 hotels are to be demolished in this operation while decisions in other cases are awaited. “The demolition will continue till all the 33 hotels are demolished,” he told reporters
The PKDA’s move has caused panic among hoteliers and apartment owners who have violated CRZ norms.
Besides Barik, planning member Lingaraj Pattnaik and enforcement officer Abhimanyu Behera of the PKDA, a magistrate and police were present during the demolition.