Bhubaneswar, August 29 (LocalWire): Authorities today bulldozed the famous Emar mutt as part of the ongoing exercise to demolish all structures within the 75-meter radius of Meghanad Prachir, the compound wall of the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple.
The structure widely perceived as one of the oldest mutts of Vaishanavite cult right in front of the Jagannath temple had to be razed to the ground in accordance with a judicial order, state cabinet decision besides the Archaeological Survey of India’s instructions, said Puri district collector Balwant Singh.
Raghunandan library, dating back to British Raj and located within the precinct of the historic mutt, is also being pulled down as part of the drive to ensure the safety of Jagannath temple and develop the temple town into an international heritage site, he said.
He also informed that the administration has already demolished another mutt located within 75 meters of Meghanad Prachir, besides several houses, commercial establishment, and shops as part of the ongoing eviction drive.
“All those who were displaced are going to be monetarily compensated and rehabilitated as per the government’s policy decision. The administration is thankful to people in extending cooperation for smooth and hassle-free demolition drive, which started last week,” he stated.
The government has resolved to conserve the ancient artifacts in the mutts and the palm leaf manuscripts at the Raghunandan library. The artifacts and palm-leaf manuscripts are being preserved at the Collectorate’s strong room for the time being. The administration is planning to preserve these priceless artifacts for posterity in a museum in the pilgrim town.
It’s pertinent to note here that the Mutt had grabbed the headlines in 2011 with ASI stumbling upon a closed chamber inside the core area of the mutt. An estimated 18 tons of silver brick-like blocks had been discovered from the chamber whose value was assessed then at Rs 90 crore.
The silver blocks were taken possession of by the district administration and preserved in the strong room of the district reserve police after the mutt chief had failed to provide details about its source.
The mutt authorities had also infringed rules as they had not apprised the state endowment commission of the huge reserve of silver.