Bylaws on Puri Jagannath temple withdrawn following request by

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Patnaik, BJP and BJD MPs (Adding withdrawal of notification) Bhubaneswar/Puri, Feb 8 (PTI) After Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and delegations of BJD and BJP MPs urged the centre to withdraw draft bylaws notification issued by National Monuments Authority (NMA) stopping any developmental work within 100 meters radius of Shree Jagannath temple in Puri, the notice was taken back Monday.

Responding to the demand, NMA came out with a public notice, saying the draft heritage bylaws of Shree Jagannath temple and subsidiary shrines together with adjacent area comprised in survey plot 1, 2 and 3 district Puri has been withdrawn due to some technical glitches and the revised notice will be issued later.

Patnaik on a visit to the 12th century shrine in Puri in the morning had urged the centre to take back the communique.

National Monuments Authority which comes under Union ministry of Culture had issued the notification on January 18 last.

It had published the draft heritage byelaws on its website and invited suggestions and comments from the public till February 18.

With the communique sparking a strong resentment across the state, a delegation of BJP and BJD MPs had Monday morning separately met Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel, who assured them that the order would be taken back.

This is the first occasion when rivals BJP and BJD MPs mounted pressure on the centre on a common issue of interest to Odisha.

Their efforts resulted in withdrawal of the notification later in the day.

BJD MP from Puri Pinaki Mishra welcomed the decision to annul the NMA notice.

Servitors of Puri also welcomed the centre's prompt action.

'Nobody can stop the work of Lord Jagannath. The central government should withdraw the bylaws notification,' Patnaik had told reporters in Puri earlier during the day on his maiden visit to the 12th century shrine after the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic were removed.

The chief minister thanked the local people of Puri who have sacrificed their lands for the Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor (SJHC) project for the beautification and enhancing security of the areas around the temple.

The state government has been carrying out the development projects 75 meters from the Puri temple boundary wall for which the people have donated their land.

After meeting Patel in the national capital, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi said the central government has no such intention to put restrictions on the developmental works being carried out around the temple.

'Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a devotee of Lord Jagannath and he would not allow anyone to create problem in Puri,' a BJP statement quoting Sarangi said.

Sarangi also said that the issuance of the NMA draft bylaw communique was a 'bureaucratic error' which has been released 'by mistake' and 'it will be withdrawn soon'.

Another team of the BJD MPs also met Union Culture Minister in Parliament demanding termination of the NMA draft by-law for Puri.

'The Union Minister has assured the BJD delegation that it would be withdrawn. We met the minister as per direction of the chief minister,' said one of the members of the delegation.

The National Monuments Authority said the draft heritage bylaws have been prepared as per Section 20(E) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,2010 and Rule 18 of National Monuments Authority (Appointment, Function and Conduct of Business) Rules, 2011.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in a letter to the member secretary of the NMA made a request to annul the notification immediately 'to protect the interest of the Lords, sevaks and devotees at large.' 'I request you to immediately withdraw the draft notification under reference. If National Monuments Authority is still of the considered view that any further regulatory framework of any nature is required.

'And further the cause of 'Mula Peetha' (original seat) of Shree Jagannath) at Puri, you are invited for a detailed consultation and discussion with members of Shree Jagannath Temple Management Committee (SJTMC) before any such fresh attempt is made,' SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said in a letter to the NMA member secretary. PTI COR AAM SNS SNS