BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday visited Puri to make an on-spot assessment of the progress of works in the pilgrim city under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme and the Heritage Corridor project.
This was his first visit outside the Capital city in seven months after the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Naveen first offered prayer to Patitapaban from Singhadwar and had darshan of Neelachakra. He made a Sampurna Parikrama of the Sri Jagannath temple.
He prayed to Lord Jagannath for the wellbeing of the people of the State. Reviewing in detail the Sri Jagannath temple periphery beautification projects which had been held up due the lockdown, the Chief Minister asked the administration to complete the land acquisition process for the Heritage Corridor by January 1, 2021.
As per the draft architectural plan, the corridor will be developed on 75-metre area from the Meghnad Pacheri (boundary wall) of the 12th century shrine.
The Government has decided to spend Rs 3,208 crore under ABADHA scheme in three years to transform Puri into a world heritage city.
He reviewed the arrangements being made for a robust queue management system on the south-east side (from the erstwhile Emar Math side) and asked officials to ensure that devotees have hassle-free entry through Singhadwar.
Adequate arrangements should be made for comfort of devotees when they wait in queue to go inside temple for darshan of the deities, he stressed.
CM reviews heritage projects in Puri
The Chief Minister asked the officials to design the Heritage Corridor in such a manner that persons with disabilities should be able to go around Parikrama on their own. Devotees doing Parikrama should have unhindered view of the majestic boundary wall.
Security should be strengthened around the temple and all arrangements should be made for safety and convenience of visitors and pilgrims. For elderly persons, electric carts should be pressed into service so that they do not face any problem even if they are to park their vehicles at a distance, he directed.
On the southern side of the Meghnad Pacheri, he advised creation of tree-shaded spaces to make Parikrama comfortable with special emphasis on universal access. On the western side, he directed that no utilities like electric substation should be next to the Meghnad Pacheri.
The present CESU control room should be shifted and adequate arrangements be made for serving Mahaprasad to large number of people at one go at the northern side. He was accompanied by Development Commissioner Suresh Mohapatra and 5T Secretary VK Pandian.