The Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) on Friday resumed demolition of illegal temples and other places of worship and brought down at least five temples that had come up encroaching upon the CDA lands at Markat Nagar here.
Equipped with the High Court’s order and adequate police support, CDA officials pulled down three temples in Sector 8 and two in Sector 9. The authorities have identified at least 38 such illegal temples in Markat Nagar and six in Mahanadi Vihar.
“These are execution of encroachment cases as these places of worship had come up on our land and we had given prior notices to the temple authorities to shift the deities and other necessary items from the encroached land before eviction,” said CDA Secretary PK Sethy, adding that the eviction drive would continue till all the identified illegal structures are pulled down. It may be mentioned that the Odisha High Court in June this year had asked the CDA to furnish details stating as to how many illegal places of worship have been identified in the city and how many of them have already been demolished.
The Supreme Court on June 26, 2013 had restrained the State Government from demolishing any more temples in the city while adjudicating a batch of petitions filed by different temple trusts. The trusts had challenged an order of the High Court passed on January 6, 2012, by the strength of which the Cuttack district administration had pulled down at least 30 places of worship in the city within one and a half months.
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