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17 Iconic Tourism Sites: BJD Expresses Concerns In Assembly, Dubs ‘Omission Of Odisha’ Unfortunate

12 July 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dashed a letter to the Centre expressing concerns against omission of Odisha from the list of 17 Iconic Tourism Sites destination development and urging for inclusion of at least two tourist spots, the ruling BJD members today raised it in the Assembly and demanded a unanimous resolution for pressing the State’s legitimate right.

The issue was first raised by senior BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy during the Zero Hour and was supported by his party colleagues Debi Prasad Mishra, Bhupinder Singh, Arabinda Dhali, Amar Prasad Satpathy, Kishore Mohanty, Nrusingha Charan Sahu and Ananta Das.

Later in his media reactions, senior BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra said, “Odisha is the soul of India in the Tourism sector. When we campaign to woo the foreign tourists, we present this. Odisha is a pivotal part of Incredible India as it has all sorts of richesse, starting from the forest wealth to unique bio-diversity, presence of tribal populace, rich cultural heritage, Konark, Ramsar-fame Chilika, Bhitarkanika, Satakosia, Similipal and so on.”

“Today this issue was raised in the House. Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitaramanan in her Budget speech has stated about 17 Iconic Spots for destination development. Unfortunately, Odisha has not been enlisted,” he rued.

He stated, “Our Chief Minister has already urged for enlisting at least two spots. This matter was raised in the House today. Because of the tourist footfall, by both domestic and overseas, it has ample opportunity for employment as well as self-employment and its significant contribution to our State’s development. Hence, Odisha will be deprived of it.”

“When we raised the issue today, members of other political parties also expressed their concerns. All demanded that expeditious steps must be taken. All are agog to know the response of the Centre. If required, a House Committee should meet the Union Government so that tourism, which is our growth engine, could aptly contribute to our State’s development,” the ruling BJD MLA asserted.

On the contrary, senior BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra defended, “The Odisha Government might not have presented before the Central Government in a right manner. If presented properly, we’ll definitely try in that direction so that tourist spots are enlisted.”

“The Central Government is certainly laying stress on Odisha. Hence, justice will definitely be done,” he assured. 

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Debi Prasad Mishra, Senior BJD MLA

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Jayanarayan Mishra, Senior BJP MLA, Odisha