State

Eviction Drive begins in Puri for Nabakalebara

Puri, Oct 27: The state government started its preparation for the unique Nabakalebara festival in Puri as the district administration and Railway authorities on Monday began evicting encroachers from land adjoining the Railway Station in pilgrim town.

It is reported that the Railway will construct a yatri nivas to provide accommodation to the pilgrims during Nabakalebara festival next year. Nearly 30 lakh pilgrims are expected to visit the town to witness the festival of Lord Jagannath that comes once every 12-18 years.

The eviction started destroying the slums, the machines and bulldozers crushed whatever came their way. Police were deployed to avoid the unwanted situation in Ramachandi Balikuda slum.

Initially, the slum dwellers opposed the operations, but their efforts went in vein. "We have deployed 20 platoons of policemen, eight DSPs and 12 inspectors of police to prevent any untoward incident. Part of the land belongs to the Railways whereas the rest belongs to the government and the municipality," Puri SP Asish Singh said.

The SP told media that the police have been deployed to help the slum dwellers to shift to other places. However, the slum dwellers complained that they were informed of the eviction only yesterday evening and they had a very little time to shift from the place.

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