Renovation plans for tourism projects in Jagatsinghpur district seem to have been put on the back burner.
In 2010-11 financial year, Central Government had sanctioned Rs 5.85 crore for development of tourism circuits in Jagatsinghpur which included a tourist complex, renovation of temples and other tourism spots in the district. Cultural heritage, maritime tradition of the district and contribution of freedom fighters were to find place in the tourism circuits.
As per the plans of the Tourism Department, Alaka Ashram, which was an important centre of activities of freedom fighters, was to be renovated. Steps were to be taken to develop a meditation point of one of the Panch Sakha ‘Jasobant Dash’ at Adhang under Biridi block, historical port Hukitola near Paradip and environmental development of Chandpur under Tirtol block. Beautification of the 16th century Sarala temple was also on the cards.
Accordingly, Rs 61.60 lakh was sanctioned for renovation of Alaka Ashram, Rs 76.85 lakh for Sarala temple, Rs 23 lakh for Jagannath temple at Garei in Nuagaon block, Rs 27.28 lakh for construction of a rest shed and urinals at Shree Gramswar temple in Panchapulli under Erasama block, Rs 35 lakh towards rest sheds for tourists at Paradip Port and Rs 67.05 lakh for Gorekhnath temple in Tirtol block.
Although the funds were sanctioned three years back, no work on any of the projects has been initiated yet. Ironically, the Government has also sanctioned funds for renovation of three private temples in the district - Rs 19.05 lakh towards Ganesh temple at Mahilo, Rs 84.75 lakh for Sree Ram temple at Chandpur and Rs 31 lakh for Nasik temple under Tirtol block.
The land on which the three temples have been constructed belongs to private individuals who are not ready to allow any work on the temple premises.
Sources said due to political interference and negligent attitude of the tourism authorities towards the projects, works are being delayed.
District Tourist Officer Arabinda Kumar Jena admitted delay in works despite allocation of funds. Without divulging the reasons of the delay, he said work on Alaka Ashram and Sarala temple would begin soon.