BHUBANESWAR: A mega renovation and beautification drive is in the offing for the Ratha Road at Ekamra Kshetra in the Capital City. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to widen the road by removing all encroachments, developing pathways, landscaping, rehabilitating vendors besides, painting all the buildings on the stretch in uniform colours.
Ornamental lights would be installed on the road. The aim is to present the 11th century Lingaraj temple as the dominating landmark.
Every year, the annual Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraj, the presiding deity of Bhubaneswar, is held on the occasion of Ashoka Ashtami and during this, the chariot is pulled by devotees from the Lingaraj temple to the Rameswar temple, also called Mausi Maa, through the Ratha Road.
The BMC is in talks with the Public Works Department to develop the stretch by clearing the encroachments, both private and public establishments, that have narrowed down the road. Vendors on the road stretch will be rehabilitated in market complexes that are being developed in the Ekamra Kshetra, said BMC officials.
Apart from developing pathways on the road and landscaping it, the civic body plans to paint all the buildings along the Ratha Road with shades of brown to give the stretch a heritage look. While Mutts and public buildings will be painted in a darker shade of brown, the private buildings/houses would be coloured in a lighter shade of the colour.
“While the modalities for uniformly colouring all structures on the Ratha road has been finalised, that for the road renovation is being currently worked out by the PWD. A public notification on this will be issued by the BDA soon and a public awareness drive would be held for taking consent from the building owners before work begins”, said a civic body official.
In 2011, the State Government had asked the BDA and BMC to work on a proposed uniform building colour project near Lingaraj temple. But the work never took off as both the bodies failed to conduct a study on the implications of the project.