A project for special illumination of certain temples in Old Town area, aimed at giving a boost to tourist appeal of these heritage structures, has been lingering for several years now.
The temples are Lakshmaneswar, Bharateswar and Satrughneswar group of temples and Lingaraj, Rajarani, Mukteswar, Rameswar and Parsurameswar. While Lakshmaneswar Bharateswar and Satrughneswar temples are managed by the State Archaeology, the remaining five temples are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The project was formulated in 2010 under the Mega Project Scheme for development of Bhubaneswar-Puri-Chilika tourism sector, with the Centre subsequently providing an assistance of `4 crore. Due to the delay, the cost overrun is expected to be `5 crore.
Apparently, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) is yet to decide on the lighting systems that are to be implemented under the project. Earlier, it had been decided that these temples would be illuminated with the LED-based multi-coloured dynamic lighting system.
At present, many temples and other monuments of importance in Old Town area are illuminated through halogen lights which generate a lot of heat posing the risk of damage to the upper part of these structures.
According to official reports, lights have been installed at Laxmaneswar, which is protected by the Archaeology wing, while the work is getting delayed in others. Sources said the initial delay was attributed to getting permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), but now technical problems are delaying the project.
Though for the other four temples, the ASI permission has been obtained, the choice of the technology has emerged a difficult task and the technical committees examining the claims of the executing agencies is taking time.
“We are planning to illuminate these temples with efficient white lights like it has been done at Jagannath temple in Puri. Besides, we are also exploring LED white lights which consume less power and can be removed at any point of time,” said an engineer of the OTDC.
The Corporation is planning to float tenders again for the project soon.