BHUBANESWAR: Puri will get 33 Nabakalebara Villages that would house pilgrims and tourists visiting the town during the 11-day Rath Yatra. The villages will have temporary accommodation units made of bamboo, aluminium and iron with facilities of drinking water, electricity, TV, generator sets and sanitation.
The villages are coming up under seven zones - Malatipatpur, Baliguali, Talabania, Sea Beach stretch near Hotel Mayfair, VIP Road, Grand Road and Loknath temple road. Most of the villages are being set up near parking lots for visitors’ convenience.
The project is being implemented by Works Department and a core committee comprising officials from the local administration, Works and Tourism Departments has been formed to oversee the work. The villages will be under CCTV surveillance and visual documentation of each village would be done during all 11 days. The idea of these villages has been borrowed from similar projects established during Kumbh Mela.
Tourism Secretary Arvind Padhee told this paper that there will be two types of temporary shelters in these villages - one for one lakh visitors and another for 9000 police personnel and volunteers. “We are expecting millions of people during the festival and the existing hotels, lodges and Mutts will not be able to accommodate all of them. Hence, we decided to come up with these temporary shelters. During the last Nabakalebara in 1996, when 20 lakh people had come to Puri, temporary shelters had been set up but those were insufficient. So, we decided to set up more temporary accommodation units in the design of villages this time,” he informed.
Padhee added that while the core committee is closely monitoring the project and there will be a third party assessment of work being done in the villages.
The agency implementing the project will hand over the units for police personnel and volunteers on July 11 to the Works Department and the ones for pilgrims and tourists on July 15. “During the festival, sanitation and local civic body personnel would be stationed in these villages round-the-clock to ensure cleanliness and provision of proper facilities to people,” Padhee added.