BHUBANESWAR: TheJagannath temple in Puri has been selected as one of 10 places in the country that will be developed as a ‘Swachh Tourist Destination’ by the Central Government. As a part of this, a special cleanliness drive will be taken up in the temple and nearby areas.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will take up the initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission in association with Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Odisha Government.
The Central Government has decided to undertake a special clean-up drive under Swachh Bharat Mission focusing on 100 places of spiritual and cultural importance in the country.
In the first phase, 10 places have been identified including Jagannath temple in Puri. A meeting in this regard was held between Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and State Government on May 31.
While the State Government has been asked to converge resources for the clean-up under ongoing Central programmes such as Swachh Bharat Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the officials concerned have been asked to present a detailed plan of action within two weeks.
The other heritage sites include Taj Mahal in Agra, Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir and Kamakhya Temple in Assam.
Laser show at Narendra Tank
In another decision, the Tourism Department has decided to implement multi-coloured laser show at the 12th century Narendra Pokhari in Puri before the Rath Yatra this year. The Odisha Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), which has been entrusted with the work, has been asked to complete the trial run before June 20. IDCO had roped in Kolkata-based agency to implement the project. Tourism Minister Ashok Panda said the laser show has been modelled on the lines of shows at Hussain Sagar and Gandhi Nagar’s Akshardham temple.