Parking fee at Srimandir causes resentment

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Puri: Collection of parking fee from devotees at Srimandir has created resentment among many.

The devotees have urged the civic authorities of the city to provide free parking facility near the 12th century shrine.

The municipal body of the city has set up a parking lot for two-wheelers near Srimandir after demolishing structures at Emar and Mangu mutts. It has leased out the parking lot to a private party for two months.

The private party has promised to pay Rs 4.28 lakh to the civic authorities. Devotees are being asked to pay Rs 10 to park their bikes for two hours while the parking fee is Rs 20 for six hours, Rs 30 for 12 hours and Rs 40 for 24 hours.

However, many devotees have expressed displeasure over collection of parking fee at Srimandir. They claimed that people often wait for several hours to pay obeisance to Srimandir deities and get Mahaprasad. “The state government is spending crores of rupees to beautify the surroundings of Srimandir and develop the Holy City as a heritage site. But, the civic authorities here are collecting parking fee from devotees. They should provide free parking facility at the shrine,” said Manoj Mohanty, a devotee from Sakhigopal.

Some devotees, meanwhile, claimed that the parking lot manager does to enter entry and exit time properly while issuing receipts to bikers. As a result, many bikers are being forced to pay at least Rs 20 as parking fee.

“Thousands of devotees from across the country visit Srimandir every day. One has to stand in queue to enter into the shrine. The civic authorities must not collect anything more than Rs 5 or Rs 10 to provide parking facility at Srimandir,” said Pabitra Sahu, a devotee from Nimapara.

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