Odisha to spend nearly ₹3,500 cr. on temples
CM chalks out plans to transform Puri into a world heritage city, revamp prominent temples in State
At a time when temple politics dominates the political narrative in the country with the BJP remaining ahead of others, the ruling Biju Janata Dal does not seem to be lagging behind in Odisha.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in his fifth term, has decided to spend nearly ₹3,500 crore on development of temples and their surroundings, much to the delight of the people in the State.
Mr. Patnaik has chalked out grandiose plans to transform Puri into a world heritage city, akin to Kashi Vishwanath corridor project. He has embarked upon redeveloping the surroundings of Lord Jagannath temple, the cultural nerve centre of the State, and development of infrastructure in the pilgrim town.
Initially, convincing people to hand over their ancestral land and homes for the project had appeared to be difficult. But Mr. Patnaik pursued with his mission and obstructions have started disappearing fast.
For the development of Puri, the State government has announced an expenditure of ₹3,208 crore under the Augmentation Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme over three years. While ₹719 crore has been earmarked for 2019-20, the cost of the projects would be around ₹1,402 crore and ₹1,087 crore in 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively.