‘Heritage Corridor Project to give major facelift to Odisha’s pilgrim town’

Bhubaneswar: Soon the pilgrim town, Puri will witness a lot of changes in its culture and heritage. This was informed by Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb after a meeting with all stakeholders on Puri Heritage Corridor Project in Bhubaneswar today.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Gajapati Dibyasingha said measures are being taken to propagate the tradition and glory of the pilgrim town globally. Bhumiputra, the firm which was awarded the heritage corridor project work has already initiated the steps in this regard, the Puri Gajapati added.

SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar, who attended the meeting, said the final plan of heritage corridor will be known during the last week of March or first week of April. “The upcoming heritage corridor plan will not alter or change existing rituals or practices of Shree Jagannath Temple,” he said.

Micro planning will be done for free movement in the ‘sahis’ around the Shree Jagannath Temple. Secondly, adequate space like before will be provided for annual Rath Yatra and Ratha Khala. This apart, special attention will be given for smooth conduct of yatras of deities held outside the temple.

Krishan further said spaces will be earmarked near the temple for ‘sankirtana’ and ‘yagna’ as suggested by the Puri Gajapati. Plans are afoot to make arrangements for 5,000 devotees to have Maha Prasad at a time.

The SJTA administrator said, ”The state government wants to construct a dining area , where at least 5,000 persons can have Maha Prasad everyday.”

Meanwhile, Padma Vibhushan and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra showed his displeasure over the quality of beautification work surrounding the Shree Jagannath temple. He stressed that the new structures must include sculpting practices of ancient Utkal. Raghunath also expressed his interest to guide in the beautification work, if consulted.

Worth mentioning, the draft Puri Heritage Corridor plan was released last month by Chief MInister Naveen Patnaik.

Representatives from Bhumiputra organisations made a presentation to the key government officials and related stakeholders during the discussion.

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