BHUBANESWAR: Amid much fanfare, the Lingaraj Heritage Haat, on the lines of the popular Dilli Haat in Delhi, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Wednesday.
The haat has been developed over an area of two acres and at a cost of Rs 1.15 crore under Mega Circuit Project of Tourism Department covering Bhubaneswar-Puri-Satpada.
It will be managed by the Lingaraj temple trust. On the occasion, Naveen said the new venue would showcase the State’s craft and cultural tradition, while bringing craftspersons directly in contact with clientele from across the country.
“The haat would act as a bridge between the handicraft industry and tourists in the State by facilitating sale of handicraft products,” he said.
An ambitious project of the Tourism Department and OTDC, the haat aims at encouraging and providing the necessary marketing infrastructure to the master craftsmen, artistes and those earning their livelihood from village industries.
A time-table has been worked out to ensure that the stalls at haat remain occupied throughout the year.
OTDC Chairman Jyotiskar Mohapatra said haats like Lingaraj and Ekmara are testimony to the fact that despite modernity and its aggressive onslaught, many traditional craft skills have survived and evolved new parameters of aesthetic and commercial value.
He said amenities have been created to make Lingaraj haat a purposeful place where tourists would be able to enjoy comfortable and hassle-free shopping. He further said that the things at haat are priced reasonably and a common man can afford to visit the place any time.
“We have also decided to showcase the rich cultural heritage through this haat. A large number of events have been planned to be staged every week and every fourth Sunday, a mega cultural event would be organised at the haat,” Mohapatra added.
As spacious as Ekmara haat, the Lingaraj heritage haat has craft stalls, food kiosks with parking for vehicles.
Among others, Tourism and Culture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, MLAs Ashok Chandra Panda, Bhagirathi Badjena and Bijay Kumar Mohanty and Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena were present.
A cultural programme was organised by Orissa Dance Academy on the occasion.