BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to give pace to the initiatives to transform the pilgrim city of Puri and Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar as world class heritage spots, the State government has allocated Rs 742 crore in the Budget 2021-22 .While an amount of Rs 542 crore has been earmarked for development works at Puri under the Augmentation Basic Amenities & Development of Heritage & Architecture at Puri (ABADHA) scheme, the State will spend Rs 200 crore under the Ekamra Kshetra Amenities and Monuments Revival Action (EKAMRA) plan for Bhubaneswar.
In 2020-21 Budget, the government had allocated Rs 695 crore for development of heritage security zone around the Sri Jagannath temple at Puri under ABADHA scheme. The scheme also includes the Shree Setu project, Musa river revival plan, Jagannath Ballav pilgrim centre, Matha Development Initiative and development of heritage lakes, among other works. The State plans to spend the EKAMRA funds of Rs 200 crore in pedestrianising over 65 acre land around the Lingaraj temple.
Similarly, an allotment of Rs 200 crore has been made under Samaleswari Temple Area Management & Local Economy Initiatives (SAMALEI), a new scheme planned by the government for development of Samaleswari temple and its periphery in Sambalpur.This apart, the outlay for tourism sector has been enhanced by 25 per cent from Rs 401 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 500 crore in 2021-22. This is 2.5 times of the Budget outlay on tourism in 2019-20. The current allocation includes Rs 349 crore for development and management of tourist infrastructure besides Rs 83 crore for publicity.