CUTTACK: The Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) will launch a demolition drive against unauthorized religious structures from August 22. It has identified 35 such temples at Markat Nagar and Mahanadi Vihar here.
"The unauthorized temples will be demolished in accordance with the Orissa high court order," said CDA vice-chairman Pratap Das.
On January 6, 2011, the court directed the district administration to demolish unauthorized temples, which had come up on government land after 1987 and were creating traffic and drainage problem in the city. In pursuance of the order, CDA, Cuttack Municipal Corporation and district administration jointly carried out a demolition drive last year and pulled down around 30 temples. But the drive was stopped midway after some temple authorities moved the Supreme Court and got a stay on it.
"The high court recently asked us to submit a compliance report on its order. So, we have decided to resume the demolition drive," said Das.
CDA officials said none of the 35 temples had moved the apex court against the demolition order. "We need heavy police deployment to carry out the drive in a smooth manner. We will try to complete it in three days," said a CDA official.
The city denizens, however, are opposing temple demolition in CDA area. "The CDA officials remained mum when huge temples were constructed on its land. They neither opposed nor asked people to refrain from such activities. After so many years, they have now decided to demolish them. The decision is unfair," said Sakuntala Das, a resident of Markat Nagar.