BHUBANESWAR: Even as Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle finds prominent spots in tourims map, several other places in the State having the potential to be developed as major tourist destinations remain
To develop tourism in some of these lesser explored destinations, the Ministry of Tourism has recently identified two new tourism circuits, covering the Northern and Southern districts of Odisha.
Every year, the Ministry sanctions Central Finance Assistance (CFA) for development of mega circuits and tourism circuits in every State. So far in Odisha, it has sanctioned the CFA for development of Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark-Chilika as a Mega Tourism Circuit and the project is in its second phase of implementation.
The two new tourism circuits are Kuldiha-Similipal-Bhitarkanika-Panchlingeswar-Chandipur-Talsari circuit and Malkangiri-Jeypore-Nabarangpur-Koraput-Rayagada-Daringibadi- Chandragiri-Taptapani circuit.
Tourist spots like Sabar Srikhetra, Duduma, Bagra and Gupteswar in Koraput district; Majhighariani in Rayagada district, Gandahati and Mahendragiri in Gajapati district, Sahid Minar, Khatiguda dam and Maa Bhandargharani temple in Nabarangpur; Taptapani in Ganjam; Balimela, Amakunda and Satiguda dam in Malkangiri district, Chandragiri Buddhist Monastery in Gajapati and Daringibadi in Kandhamal district would come under the proposed tourism circuit of South Odisha.
Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, a national-level consultant (NLC) for the Tourism Ministry, identified these circuits. Significant tourist inflows, diversity and quality of tourism assets in terms of beaches, scenic destinations, wildlife sanctuaries, adventure tourism, temples and historical monuments are some positives for these circuits. However, dilapidated approach roads, lack of proper accommodation units and public conveniences at these destinations are the weaknesses that have to be improved upon, the Ministry has pointed out in a recent report.
Construction of wayside amenities, budget accommodations, public toilets, drinking water and tourist information centres at locations under the two circuits shall be undertaken under the project in PPP mode.
The Tourism Ministry has suggested setting up eco-tourism lodges in Bhitarkanika, a marine park at Chandipur, lighting of caves of Gupteswar, increasing the number of rooms in forest rest houses at Kuldiha, introduction of water sports at Talsari beach, among other things, to the State Government. An expenditure of `88.3 crore and `105.11 crore has been proposed for the first and the second circuit respectively.
Secretary of the Tourism Department, Arvind Padhee, said in the current financial year, the Department is working on Dhauli-Konark-Puri circuit, Nrusinghnath-Harishankar-Patara, Gupteswar-Koraput-Deomali, besides Taratarini and river front development of Mahanadi at Sambalpur. “From this year, work has started on these circuits. We would present our proposals on the two circuits identified by the Ministry next year and also come up with some new circuit ideas,” Padhee said.