BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government has decided to spend Rs 3208 crore under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme in three years to transform Puri into a world heritage city.
A proposal in this regard was approved in the meeting of the Cabinet presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Monday. While Rs 719 crore will be spent under the scheme in 2019-20, the cost of the projects to be taken up under ABADHA will be around Rs 1402 crore and Rs 1087 crore in 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively.
Besides, the Cabinet approved a proposal to amend the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1951 by excluding Gobardhan Math, Puri from its purview to vest the management of the Math with Jagadguru Shankaracharya. Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy told mediapersons that the decision was taken in view of the long-pending requests received from different quarters and the pre-eminent place occupied by the Gobardhan Math and the Shankaracharya among the religious institutions of the State.
A number of projects have been approved by the Chief Minister under the ABADHA scheme this year including development of the heritage security zone, Shree Setu project, Musa river revival plan, Jagannath Ballav pilgrim centre, housing projects, Puri lake development project, upgradation of Raghunandan Library, Acharya Harihar square re-development project, Atharnala heritage project, Matha Development Initiative and development of heritage lakes. These projects are likely to cost Rs 2308 crore.
The Chief Secretary said besides these, there are a few more projects which have been planned to be taken up in future with a cost of Rs 900 crore. Tripathy said ABADHA scheme was launched by the State Government in 2017-18. Some of the projects including the construction of restroom for Habishiali, improvement of roads at different locations in Puri and construction of stadium were announced under the project and are being implemented.
Post the devastation caused by cyclone Fani, the Chief Minister visited Puri and announced that it will be developed into a world-class heritage city. The Government had also approved several projects arising out of the recommendations of the Justice BP Das Commission of Inquiry for better administration and governance of the Jagannath Temple at Puri and its endowments. The Chief Secretary said the Government has decided to take up all these activities under the ABADHA scheme.
Aviation shifted to the transport department
The Cabinet approved the State Government’s proposal to transfer the aviation branch from General Administration and Public Grievance department to the Transport and Commerce department by amendment of the Odisha Government rules of business. The Cabinet also decided to do away with the application and users fee for resident, income, income and asset, legal heir, guardianship and caste certificates.