Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 4:
The district administration Sunday evening sealed Sterling Resorts, a luxury hotel with star rating located on the outskirts of Odisha’s holy town Puri, on charges of violation of laws pertaining to irrigation, environment, ‘Coastal Regulation Zone’ (CRZ) and illegal obstruction of river. This was informed by Puri collector Arvind Agarwal.
“This hotel has blocked the River Mangala on the outskirts of Puri town without having permission from district administration, State Pollution Control Board or the regional authorities of the Coastal Regulation Zone Authority,” Agarwal said.
“The hotel has been closed and sealed on allegations of digging the river bed using excavators, construction in river area in violation of the provisions of ‘Coastal Regulation Zone’ apart from blocking the river path,” said district administration officials.
Before the closing and sealing of the hotel, the district administration first asked guests to vacate the hotel..
“With the enlargement of the river path, saline water will enter the river and damage crops in its catchment upstream, besides affecting the quality of the river’s sweet water. With enlargement of the river mouth, the situation could well go beyond control. For these reasons the hotel has been sealed for violating provisions of laws on environment and coastal zone regulation,” said Agarwal.
Orders for sealing the hotel under provisions of section 133 was issued by the sub-collector Puri, sources said. The district administration has seized several equipment belonging to the hotel used in the construction work.
It may be recalled here that the district administration had sealed two hotels along the beach on Friday (May 1).