BHUBANESWAR: With only four months remaining for the Nabakalebara festival to begin at Puri, the focus is on completion of railway projects before the mega event. Several special trains are being planned and railway infrastructure expanded to cater to the needs of passengers. The festival will be celebrated in July in which around 50 lakh pilgrims are expected to congregate.
Railway projects Iike doubling of Delang-Sakhigopal- Puri, third line between Bhubaneswar-Barang, doubling between Cuttack-Barang and Barang-Rajathgarh have been taken up on priority for completion before March 2015.
In his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking more allocation for Odisha in the Railway Budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said that projects such as doubling of Delang-Sakhigopal- Puri railway line, expansion of Puri and Malatipur stations, construction of road over bridge near Malatipur and other related projects should be taken up on priority and completed before March.
"Sufficient funds for these projects should be allocated in the Budget for 2015-16 fiscal," the Chief Minister stated in the letter. Ahead of the festival, progress of different ongoing projects such as construction of approach roads, expansion of the national highway, doubling of railway line, construction of drainage systems, boosting health infrastructure and temporary shelter systems in Puri is being reviewed by the State Government regularly.
Different departments have been directed to ensure completion of projects within the scheduled timeframe. To ensure safety of devotees during the festival, the district administration has been directed to identify dilapidated buildings around the temples.
The Government is also constructing temporary shelters to accommodate around one lakh devotees. "Two places on the outskirts of the city have been identified to develop such temporary accommodation," said a senior official.
To accommodate the devotees, the State Government has decided to set up temporary accommodation facilities in the form of 'Nabakalebara village' just as it is done during the Kumbh Mela. Guests can avail such accommodation at nominal rates. The Puri administration has identified about 20 acres near Talabania for the development of such accommodation.
The district administration has been asked to complete drainage and sewerage projects inside the town by April. It was also decided to demolish dilapidated buildings to ensure the safety of devotees.
The Works department was asked to complete the roads leading to Puri including Biramitrapur-Jankia, Puri-Satpada, Gop-Balighai, Phulnakhara-Gop, Balukhanda- Malatipatapur and Puri-Konark.