GAYA: Rumours about demolition of all structures located in a radius of 500 metres from the outer wall of world heritage Mahabodhi temple caused panic among people on the second day of three-day Bodh Gaya bandh on Saturday.
The bandh has been called to protest new traffic plan imposed on streets near the shrine by the Gaya district administration and police. Gaya DM Abhishek Singh, however, denied any demolition plan. The denial of district administration announced through a press release was widely circulated on social media to allay misgivings. “There is no proposal for immediate demolition of the structures,” the release said.
“The proposal of creation of buffer zone around Mahabodhi temple is futuristic and implementable in 2031,” the release stated. Earlier in 2013, 58 shops in front of the shrine were demolished following terrorist attack.
What gave credence to the demolition rumour was a 16-year-old guideline given by Unesco, the world cultural body, for proper conservation of the shrine. In 2002, Unesco notified Mahabodhi temple as a world heritage site and issued certain guidelines for the shrine’s proper maintenance and conservation.