05 September 2019
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday approved three mega projects that would metamorphose pilgrim town Puri into a world heritage city. The three projects approved by the Chief Minister are: Heritage Security Zone; Raghunandan Library building; and Housing project for the displaced. While a majority of these projects were announced two weeks back, the official approval from the Chief Minister came today.
Heritage Security Zone will come under 75 metre radial distance from the Jagannath Temple and will accommodate idols of gods and demigods, plants and shrubs linked to the Jagannath cult, art and artifacts and a place for offerings. An expert panel will be setup to monitor the work on various disciplins such as Temple Architecture and Art, Heritage and Conservation Architecture, Art History, Arboriculture and Shree Jagannath Culture.
By utilising some land on the vicinity of Emaar Mutt, a new building to house Raghunandan Library will be established. This project has been estimated at Rs 25 crore. Raghunandan Library will be developed with heritage architecture. It will be a 3-storied structure with top-level as the viewing gallery. This place will be a centre on research on Jagannath culture.
Similarly, the housing project will comprise of 600 dwelling units, each with a built-up area of 520 sq ft. This project will be undertaken within a radius of 1.5 kms from the temple and it is estimated to cost the exchequer Rs 95 crore.
In August this year, the Chief Minister announced a package of Rs 500 crore for the development of Puri as a World Heritage city. Naveen had earlier announced various projects worth Rs 265 crore for Puri under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme.
The package focuses on a range of modernisation plans which include infrastructure development, multi-lane roads, bridges, multi-level parkings, amenities for pilgrims, revival of Musa river, rehabilitation of those evicted from the security zone and renovation of lakes.
The Jagganath Ballav Math will be developed as an attractive pilgrim centre with multi-level car parking, amenities, and commercial and meditation space at a cost of Rs 180 crore. Musa river will be revived and connected to Mangala river at a cost of Rs 85 crore. Focus will be on restoring natural ecology, recreational activities at river edge, green wage and network to lakes.
Besides, Atharnala will be developed as an iconic pedestrian heritage bridge with the support of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). A lake will be developed on 28 acres of land at a cost of Rs 35 crore. Many heritage lakes of Puri such as Sweta Ganga, Markanda, Narendra and Indradyumna will be renovated and heritage sites will be preserved.