Ambitious periphery redevelopment of famous Jagannath Temple in Puri to be unveiled in January 2024

According to political observers, the ruling Biju Janata Dal would go to the polls next year riding on the euphoria around the flagship project.

November 05, 2023 07:54 am | Updated 07:55 am IST - BHUBANESWAR

5T Chairman V. K. Pandian reviews the redevelopment work of Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha on Saturday. Photo: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

5T Chairman V. K. Pandian reviews the redevelopment work of Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha on Saturday. Photo: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

While the Hindi heartland of the country will be reverberating in the festivities surrounding the inauguration of Ram Temple at Ayodhya in January 2024, the eastern part will see similar ceremonies around the same time with the unveiling of the ambitious Shree Mandira Parikrama Project (SMPP), a massive periphery redevelopment of the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri.

A day after Dibyasingha Deb, Chairman of Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee and titular king of Puri, said the project was likely to be inaugurated on January 17, 5T Chairman V. K. Pandian on Saturday directed the executing agencies to ensure completion of the project by December 15. The inaugural ceremonies may be spread over five days during the third week of January.

The SMPP project relates to redevelopment of 75-metre area abutting Meghanada Pacheri – the boundary wall of the project. Taken up at a cost of ₹1,000 crore, the project includes a seven-metre green buffer zone, 10-metre Antar (inner) Pradakshina - pedestrian-only path for round the year. It will be used by the general public for parikrama (clockwise circumambulation) of the temple. The eight-metre outer circumambulation path would be covered by trees on either side. There will be a 10-metre public convenience zone.

There are 36 major projects including development of a security zone around the temple, creation of parking space for vehicles, flyover and Jagannath Ballav Matha Pilgrim Center (JBMPC). The JBMPC is a unique infrastructure that will have meditation space (10,000 square metres), pilgrim amenities (5,000 sq. m.), commercial space (8,000 sq. m.) and multi-level car parking for 1,000 vehicles over 35,000 sq. m.

The SMPP project is one component of a massive ₹4,224.22 crore project which seeks to transform Puri into a World Heritage City. The ongoing transformation is being dubbed as a once-in-a-century temple development project in the State. The project may prove to be one of the major legacies of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

5T Chairman V.K. Pandian reached the temple complex by 4.30 am on Saturday to review the progress of the project.

5T Chairman V.K. Pandian reached the temple complex by 4.30 am on Saturday to review the progress of the project. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Mr. Pandian reached Puri around 4.30 am to review the progress of the project and directed the authorities to immediately shift different utilities.

The unveiling of SMPP is considered an important event ahead of 2024 elections. Political observers said the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) would approach the next election riding on the euphoria around the project. The ruling party knows that the Jagannath cult contributes immensely to Odia identity.

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