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Illegal Construction At Heritage Temple Site In Dignagar

2016-08-29 15:57

Construction on the way at the heritage temple site in Dignagar. Picture by Pranab Debnath


Krishnanagar, Aug. 29: A part of the premise of a protected monument of national importance in Nadia’s Dignagar has been occupied by some youth to construct a club. The youths allegedly having allegiance with ruling Trinamul Congress has started building a brick structure adjacent to the 347 years old Raghabeswar Shiva temple breaking open its fenced gate. The temple is one of the 106 enlisted monuments (Sl. No. S-WB 95) of national importance being looked after by the state directorate of archaeology and museums. 
The temple decorated with exquisite terracotta art fact, set up by King Raghab Roy (1632-1683) of Krishnanagar during 1669, is a protected monument under the West Bengal Preservation of Historical Monuments and Objects and Excavation of Archaeological Sites Act, 1957. 
The act prohibits destruction, injury, alteration, mutilation, defacement, removal, dispersion or falling into decay of the original monument and its adjoining land. But, the construction is being carried out barely 20ft away on the right side of the temple.

Nevertheless, in blatant violation of the provision of the act, some local youths led by one Kartick Durlabh, a Trinamul activist, who is a close aide of local panchayat member Dhnananjoy Ghosh, have been doing the construction work since Friday entering inside the temple premise allegedly breaking the lock of the fencing. The premise has no guard deputed.

The locals who have witnessed the construction work could not dare to protest being afraid of the involvement of the local Trinamul activists. 
Local sources said, the excavation work for underground foundation had begun, from Friday afternoon. On Saturday the brick soling work was done and the work for brick structure began from Sunday. 
Asked about the construction Trinamul activist Kartick Durlabh, however, said: “We are not constructing a club, rather making a platform as a resting place for the devotees who come to offer puja at the temple. We will provide corrugated sheet as overhead shade. We have plan to use this place to organize keertan as often locals request us for help them for the purpose”.

 hen asked about the prohibition of any such construction near the monument, Kartick said: “We have been doing this on ‘public interest’, which the administration should realize. The room would hardly alter the look of the temple”.

Trinamul’s local panchayat member Dhananjoy Ghosh said: “Some locals requested me to construct a shade near the temple. But, I categorically discouraged them. I do not how despite my objection they started construction.”

 radhan of Dignnagar panchayat Shyamcharan Jan said: “All The youths involved in the construction works are known Trinamul workers in the area, who have collected donations to build the shade despite our objection”.

 fficials in directorate of archaeology in Calcutta categorically stated that no construction, not even in public interest, is allowed on the adjacent land of any protected monument. 
Additional director of state archaeology and museums Prabhakar Pal said: “I have heard about the ongoing construction. No construction or even simple alteration is permissible inside the temple. I will send a team to Dignagar on soon to conduct an inquiry for taking necessary action on the matter with help of district administration”. 
“It is a protected monument and any kind of puja is prohibited at the site. We will stop this as this damage the structure”, an officer said.

District magistrate Nadia Sumit Gupta said: “I heard about the alleged construction and directed the law cell of the district land and land reforms department to conduct a probe on the matter immediately and to submit a report for further action”. 
A local said: “The archaeological department and the district administration jointly put a board with dos’ and don’t’ at the premise. They also banned any puja inside the temple. But some local youths removed that board and arranging Siva puja on special occasions to siphon money, while damaging the temple”. 
An official in Calcutta said: “Some locals with political allegiance have been trying to damage the sanctity of the temple and its unique craftsmanship. A few years ago, some locals started a gymkhana (Mahasakti Byamagar) inside the temple premise and also arranged Durga puja. We removed them too. This time too any such illegal installation would be removed without any prejudice”. 

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