Bhubaneswar: An expert panel will monitor the Puri World Heritage City Project.

The Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday announced that an expert panel will be set up to monitor work on various disciplines such as Temple Architecture & Art, Heritage & Conservation Architecture, Art History, Arboricultue and Sree Jaganath Culture.

Patnaik was reviewing the progress of the works of the Puri World Heritage City Project, here on Thursday. The meeting was attended by State housing & urban development minister Prtap Jena, chief secretary Asit Tripathy, development commissioner Suresh Mohapatra and work secretary Krishna Kumar.

The chief minister said that the displaced persons would be provided houses of 500 sq.ft each within one and half kilometer of the temple. He said about 600 houses will be constructed with an investment of Rs95 crore.

The historic Raghunandan Library would be relocated on a portion of Emar Mutt. The library would be made a Jagannath Culture Research Centre, the meeting was told.

The State government has provided Rs 860 crore for developing Puri into a World Heritage City. In the first phase Rs 265 crore was allotted under Aabada Yojana. In the second phase the government has provided Rs595 corre. In the second phase Sree Setu Project, Jaganathballav Tirtha Yatra Centre, reclaimation of Musa River, restoration of ancient ponds and development of Atharnalla and Mutts will be taken up. The plan and design for the second phase project have been completed. Tenders will be floated soon to start work, the meeting was told.

A Heritage Security Zone would be created around the temple for which the clearing of 75 meters from the Meghnada Pacheri is required, the meeting was told. A circular road of 15 mt wide would be laid round the temple outside the Meghanada Pacheri. The residual areas would be used for beautification and renovations keeping Jagannath culture in mind.

The State government action of cleaning the surrounding areas of the temple by demolishing heritage mutts and other religious and cultural institution has provoked the opposition to make hue and cry. While the Puri Sankarcharya Nischalananda has objected to the razing of heritage mutts, Mahantas have joined him to protest against the government action.

The government, however, going ahead with the cleaning proposals stating that the Supreme Court has directed so.