Puri: Shankaracharya of Govardhan Mutt, Swami Nischalanand Saraswati has expressed a disapproval against the State Government’s proposal to set up beach shacks.
For promotion of tourism, serving of liquor in Beach Shacks is allowed under Odisha Excise Policy, 2021. Opposing the proposal, the Shankaracharya said, “Jagannath Dham Puri is the seat of spiritual and religious soul-searching. Under no circumstances, liquor and other form of ‘madak dravya’ (alcoholic beverages) should be allowed on Puri beach.”
“I have always insisted that the three-kilometre stretch on the Puri beach should be a place of Bhajan – Kirtan and Arati. This proposal (beach shacks) of the Government for Puri is not not acceptable,” the Shankaracharya said.
To promote sea beach tourism, the State Government through Odisha Tourism Development Corporation has invited bids for setting up beach shacks along the coastline. “We need to have a religious environment on the Puri beach. This will transform the people who are inclined to liquor or other forms of intoxication,” he added.
Initially, six beaches – Talsari-Udaypur in Balasore, Paradeep, Puri-Konark marine drive, Chandipur, Pati Sonapur in Ganjam and Gopalpur have been identified for this proposed project.