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Sun Temple to get facelift

Staff Reporter
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Veerappa Moily lays foundation stone for the development project

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik having a word with Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily at the stone- laying ceremony of tourism development project at Konark in Puri district on Sunday.— PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik having a word with Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily at the stone- laying ceremony of tourism development project at Konark in Puri district on Sunday.— PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA

Public sector oil marketing major Indian Oil Corporation Limited through its non-profit trust -- IndianOil Foundation – has come forward to give a facelift to tourism facilities around the world famous Sun Temple at Konark, 65 km from here.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily on Sunday laid the foundation for development of tourism facilities around the Sun Temple.

Development of tourist infrastructure at Sun Temple included construction of 260-metre long wide landscaped street from ring road to entry gate for straight access and better view of the Sun Temple and parking of 60 buses, toilet block, waiting lounge, water points, snack counters and landscaping with covered area of 351 square metre.

An interpretation centre will be developed over an area of 7000 square metre comprising display galleries and four audio visual centres having capacity of 200 persons each and other associate facilities.

Moreover, IOF will take up development of open areas in the immediate surroundings of the Sun Temple Complex comprising pathways, landscaping having provision of lighting and drinking water.

IOF will spend around Rs. 36 crore for the project which is expected to be completed in 18 months. IOF have joined hands with Archaeological Survey of India and National Culture Fund of the Ministry of Culture towards preserving and protecting national assets of immense historical value.

“We are going to finish the project well within time. The project with all its facets will be ready by February 2015,” Mr. Moily said, adding Rs. 5 crore would be given for revival of museum.

‘Proud monument’

Addressing the foundation-laying ceremony, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Sun Temple has been a proud monument for Odisha since ages. The Union government should devise special scheme for preservation and development of the world famous monument. During past two years, the State government has spent Rs. 5 crore.” Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant Jena mooted School of Architecture in the name of Dharmapada, the son of a great architect who had made supreme sacrifice to complete the Sun Temple.

“My ministry will donate Rs. 5 crore towards establishment of School of Architecture. The State government should give around 10 acres of land near Konark so that proposal for setting up the school will be materialised,” Mr. Jena said. Among others Union Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch and State Tourism and Culture Minister Maheswar Mohanty were present.


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