BHUBANESWAR: The iconic dams, reservoirs and water bodies will soon be transformed into buzzing recreational spaces with the State government deciding to give their periphery a complete makeover - replete with landscaping, beautification, amusement avenues as well as infotainment zones.
Odisha has a large number of major, medium reservoirs and iconic dams. The adjacent area of the water bodies are always a place of attraction for the public due to the panoramic natural view and scope for recreation.
The Water Resources department has formulated the new scheme Periphery Development of Reservoirs and Water Bodies with an outlay of Rs 50 crore for a period of three years. The State has 163 large dams and initially the periphery areas of 18 dams and reservoirs will be developed. The department has planned to spend Rs 5 crore this year and Rs 27 crore in 2023 and Rs 18 crore in 2024.
Under the scheme, the spaces adjacent to the water bodies will be developed for recreational activities and picnic spots. Museum-cum-activity centres and interpretation centres will also be set up at the vicinity of water bodies.Additional Chief Secretary of the department Anu Garg said the areas close to the dams will be developed as places of learning and recreation with boating and camping facilities.
“The large dams in the State are engineering marvels. Once the periphery areas are developed with museums, interpretation centres having regular audio visual shows and guided tours, those can be used as places of learning apart from the pleasure trips,” she said.
After basic development of the periphery areas, some important spots of tourist importance will be handed over to the Tourism department for further development, addition of extra amusement themes and maintenance.
A district-level periphery development of reservoirs and water bodies committee will be formed under the chairmanship of the Collector in the districts where the dam vicinity will be developed. The committee will decide the dams to be undertaken in the respective districts. The dams with proper road connectivity and getting more footfalls will be taken up for development in the first phase.