The Odisha Cabinet on June 21 approved a ₹1,000 crore increase in total cost outlay for an Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme that aims to transform basic infrastructure in Puri town which is famous for the Lord Jagannath Temple.
When the ABADHA scheme was launched during 2017-18 to develop Puri, the State Cabinet had a cost outlay of ₹3,208 crore. This has made it one of the largest State-sponsored projects for development of a religious place.
“A number of projects are under implementation. During the course of execution, some changes were effected to the approved projects and some additional projects have been taken up, which has resulted in increase in the total cost outlay of the scheme to ₹4,224.22 crore,” said the State Government in a statement.
The Cabinet approved the revised cost of the scheme at ₹4,224.22 crore with scheme implementation period from 2017-18 to 2024-25, it said.
Development of the heritage security zone around the 12th Century Shree Jagannath Temple, Shree Setu project, Musa river revival plan, Jagannath Ballav pilgrim centre, housing projects, Puri lake development project, upgradation of Raghunandan Library, Acharya Harihar square re-development project, Atharnala heritage project, Matha Development Initiative and development of heritage lakes are being taken up under ABADHA scheme.
In another important development, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Cabinet recommended inclusion of the Saora language in the Constitution.
“Inclusion of the Saora language in the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India will help in the preservation, promotion, propagation of the tribal dialect and culture. Activities such as publication, creation of content and recognition will receive momentum,” said the State Government.
According to the State Cabinet, while more than five lakh Saora-speaking indigenous people will benefit, the inclusion of Saora language will have no financial implication.