Bhubaneswar: Mahaprabhu Jagannath resides in the souls of millions of Odias. Every day lakhs of pilgrims from all over the world come to Puri for His darshan. Seeing the Lord with their eyes, they beg for mercy.
Now the landscape of Puri has undergone a sea change under the guidance and direction of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The Chief Minister has allocated Rs 3,200 crore for 22 projects under the ‘Abadha’ (Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture) scheme. The state government is providing all kinds of facilities to the pilgrims, starting from organised viewing to multi-level car parking has been constructed at Jail Road in Puri. Moreover, there is a large bazaar for shopping with parking facilities.
Municipal Market Complex
This old market in the middle of the shrine was a chaotic and unhealthy environment and was unable to attract tourists from outside. Realising this, the state government demolished the old market and buildings at this place and constructed a state-of-the-art market complex with all facilities.
The five-storey new complex houses 500 shops. Already displaced people doing business in the vicinity of the shrine, including the shopkeepers, have been accommodated here. There is also a parking lot nearby to accommodate two-wheelers.
Puri’s first vending zone
The state government has constructed the first vending zone on Puri Jagannath Boulevard. The vending zone accommodates over a thousand pick-up shoppers. Earlier, traffic problem was caused by pickpockets there. The overall environment of the shops was unhealthy and unattractive. Now this problem is gone. While devotees will benefit, shop owners included in the vending zone are also happy.
Mahodhi Market Complex
With only 60 shops in Mochisahi, Mahodhi too had an unhealthy environment and failed to attract too many foreign tourists. The state government has transformed it into a state-of-the-art market at a cost of about Rs 42 crore. As many as 151 special shops are now housed in the market having an area of 12 sq meters.
All the shops here are air-conditioned. Customers who are interested in branded malls will now make a beeline to the Mahodhi Market Complex.
Multi-level parking facility
This multi-level car park constructed by spending Rs 81.83 crore, is located on 3.5 acres of land near Medical Street. It can accommodate 500 two-wheelers on the ground floor, 250 four-wheelers on the first floor, and 250 on the second floor. The parking fee is Rs 50 for 4-wheelers, Rs 20 for two-wheelers, and Rs 30 for three-wheelers.
As many as 350 shops have been built to help visitors shop in Puri. After parking in the parking lot, visitors will have the opportunity to buy Puri’s handicrafts and other goods. High-quality toilets for men and women have been constructed on every floor with separate toilets for Divyangs. There are five lifts for the visitors.
A new sewage treatment plant, solar panels for uninterrupted supply of electricity, fire safety, public addressing area, and parks on all sides of the shopping arcade have been constructed. The entire building is decorated with coloured lights and is covered with quartzite stones. Five toll-free electric buses have been installed to take the devotees to the temple and 51 employees have been appointed to provide all these services to the passengers.
The state government is providing high-quality services to the public. Many may wonder how to approach the temple after parking their vehicles at the Jail Road parking. The good news is that there is a toll-free electric bus service. They will drop you at the temple gate.
Superior customer service
Puri has undergone a metamorphosis in a few years. All types of facilities are being provided for the devotees. One devotee recalls his first experience to be great. He says they parked in the parking lot where CCTV cameras were installed and security men guarded the lane. They were happy to find drinking water and toilet facilities. As soon as he came out, he was taken to the temple in an electric car. He says such a high level of service is nowhere else to be found.