Dharmendra slams Odisha govt for not providing land for Paika rebellion memorial

Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday came down heavily on the Odisha government for not allotting land to set up a Paika rebellion memorial on Barunei foothills in Khurdha.

He said the government has land for beer unit, but not for Paika rebellion memorial.

“The state government has no hesitation in providing 600 acres of land to set up a beer factory in Dhenkanal district. On the contrary, it is not willing to provide only 50 acres near Barunei Hill to set up a memorial to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the brave Paikas of Khurda against the Britishers,” said Pradhan.

He was addressing the 119th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Harekrushna Mahatab here.

Paik rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817.

“Despite Centre’s repeated requests to Odisha to grant land for setting up a Paika Bidroha Memorial in Barunei of Khurda, govt has shown no interest,” he added.

Reacting to the allegations, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda said the state government has undertaken a slew of projects in several blocks of Khurda district as part of the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion.

He said that though the state government had submitted a detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed memorial to the Centre a year ago, there is no response till date.