Puri: After drawing sharp criticism from several social outfits and from no less a person of erudition and spiritual importance, the Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth-Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, the Odisha government today scrapped its plans to launch beach shacks in Puri to woo tourists.
“Yesterday we had a discussion with the Tourism Department and the State government wherein it was decided to cancel Tourism Department’s proposal for having beach shacks in Puri district,” informed Puri Collector Samarth Verma to reporters today.
Verma said that since Puri is being developed as a heritage city of India, nothing that will have a negative impact on its spiritual significance will be allowed.
The government is already working to develop it as a heritage city and will be taking many more steps in the future in that direction, he added.
The Shankaracharya and several social outfits had demanded scrapping of the proposed beach shack project in Puri.
They had pointed out that the government’s plan of boosting tourism by serving liquor, meat etc in the proposed beach shacks would spoil the spiritual significance of Puri which is the home to the Shree Jagannath Temple.
Representatives of the social organisations had met Collector Verma and submitted memorandums demanding the cancellation of the proposal. They had stated that the move would hurt religious sentiments.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) had floated tender inviting bids for the operation of beach shacks in six beaches of the State.
According to the OTDC’s plans, three beach shacks are proposed to come up at Talsari-Udaypur beach in Balasore district, three in Paradip beach in Jagatsinghpur district, five in Puri-Konark marine drive in Puri district, two at Chandipur beach in Balasore district, two in Pati Sonapur and six at Gopalpur sea beach in Ganjam district.