Baripada: Though tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district had acquired a special place in the history of Orissa for its art, culture and heritage, many old structural designs set up by the ancient rulers are lying neglected due to lack of proper upkeep, a report said.
Though Mayurbhanj is no more a state and neither is it ruled by a monarch, people of the district still take pride for the ancient architecture. Baripada, the erstwhile capital of Mayurbhanj kingdom, has now come under municipal jurisdiction.
Then King Maharaj Sriram Chandra Bhanjadeo had formed Baripada notified area council July 1, 1905 to provide better amenities to the residents. Soon after, the properties of the king came under the NAC. However, these ancient buildings and other designs are wallowing in neglect due to lack of maintenance, it was learnt.
A case in point is the old park near the temple of goddess Ambika.
Though locals are unaware of the exact name of the park, it was set up over 100 years ago, some elderly people said. Some generous people had set up the park at that time, they added.
There is a special pillar inside the park which draws attention of the people. The column used to be the lamp post when electricity was a dream for the citizens, according to some people. However, a few elderly persons say the pillar was set up for Malkham dance while claim it is a memorial dome of martyrs.
Despite its historical connection, the park has now turned into a hub of anti-social elements. While some youths play cricket in the park in day time, it is used by drug addicts in the night and often functions as a gambling den.
A few days ago, a contractor used it to prepare hot bitumen to lay a nearby road. Despite the presence of the historic park, another park has been set up at the cost of over Rs 1crore in the close proximity which was opposed by the locals.
Acknowledging the historical significance of the park, municipality vice-chairman Jitendra Mohanty said he tried for a facelift of the park last year by sanctioning Rs 3 lakh. He would give special attention for its maintenance in coming days, Mohanty added