Puri District administration and Railway in a joint operation today morning evicted over 3.50 families living in the Bali Uper Basti
encroaching railway grounds amid tight security to facilitate expansion of the Puri rail station keeping in view of coming Nabakalebar ritual of the Lord Jagannath. Hundreds of families over the years encroached about twenty five Acres of railway land near the railway station. Sources say railway authorities had taken the issue with the chief minister over the encroachments that marred expansion of railway facilities at Puri station to cater to the needs of pilgrims during the mega festival of the Lord Jagannath. It is learnt the chief minister had instructed the administration to remove the encroachments at the earliest from the railway land.
The state and union governments have taken initiatives for preparation for this extraordinary ritual of the lords. As part of the plan four laning of the Puri _Bhubaneswar road link and doubling of the Khurda Road-Puri railway track were being executed on war footing. The rail ministry has also released seven crore Rupees for developing a mega pilgrim shelter complex and a parking lot on its land near the rail station. The administration is expecting over thirty lakh devotees to converge in this small pilgrim city to witness the ritual.
For that the railway in the first phase took possession of over four Acres of land today. About twenty platoons of RPF, GRP and state armed police besides two hundred officers of various ranks and seventeen magistrates were engaged in the eviction operation.Bali Uper Basti encroaching railway groundsPuri Rail station Nabakalebar Nabakalebara