18 July 2019
Bhubaneswar: BJD MP Sasmit Patra on Thursday reiterated the demand of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to include at least two important tourist places of the State in Union Government’s list of 17 Iconic Tourism Sites.
Bringing a Special Mention Notice in Rajya Sabha today, Patra raised the issue of omission of Odisha from the list of 17 iconic tourism sites to be development by Union Government as announced in this year's Union Budget.
Patra stated that Odisha has rich architecture, heritage and bio-diversity which have led to several mesmering iconic tourist sites being present in the State. Out of the five tourist sites, namely Konark Sun Temple, Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park and the Diamond Triange Buddhist circuit, atleast two should be included in the Centre's list.
He strongly stated that omitting of Odisha tourist sites by the Centre is both surprising and shocking and mentioned that on 10th July, 2019, Odisha Chief Minister had written to the Union Government demanding that out of these five mentioned iconic tourist sites, atleast two should be incorporated among the 17 iconic tourist sites to be developed by Centre.
CM Naveen had in his letter stated that the omission of Odisha from the list of 17 Iconic Tourism Sites referred to in the Budget 2019-20 has come as a surprise to the State. Mentioning that tourism sector contributes about 13% to the State's GDP and needs a strategic boost, he had requested the Union Government to consider inclusion of at least two of the above mentioned tourist places of importance in the list of Iconic Tourism Sites.