State government has dropped plan of constructing a replica of the Jagannath temple
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Wary of unpalatable ramifications, the state government has dropped its plan of constructing a replica of the Jagannath temple in Puri. The u-turn followed a PIL, opposing the proposed temple, filed at Orissa high court recently.
At a press conference here on Monday, the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) chairman Jyotiskar Mohapatra did a somersault and said, “We will not build any lookalike Jagannath temple.”
Recently the OTDC executive engineer J K Das told TOI that the corporation was mulling to construct a replica of the 12th century shrine at Jagannath Ballav mutt premises in Puri. “The purpose was to give non-Hindus, who are not allowed into Jagannath temple, a feel of the shrine,” Das had said. A few days after the TOI report, OTDC chairman Mohapatra had given the same information to other media persons.
Subsequently, a person filed a public interest litigation (PIL) at the Orissa high court opposing the OTDC’s proposed move. The petitioner maintained that the replica shrine, the proposal of which was welcomed by foreign tourists, will hurt the sentiment of Hindus.
“We did not succumb to pressure following the PIL. We had not taken any final decision regarding the replica of Jagannath temple. But certain newspapers carried reports that OTDC had already taken a decision,” Das said.