Odisha: Draft proposal for Shree Jagannatha Heritage Corridor finalised

Puri: The draft proposal for the Shree Jagannatha Heritage Corridor got approval of the Shree Mandir Managing Committee during a meeting held at the Niladri Bhakta Niwas in Puri today.

Under the Chairmanship of Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, the meeting discussed the the 75-metre Shree Jagannatha Heritage Corridor. The intent of the project is to provide expansive, unobstructed corridors around the Meghanada Pacheri for giving an opportunity to devotees and pilgrims to have visual connect with the temple, Neelchakra and Meghanada Pacheri.

Also, the heritage corridor will provide amenities to pilgrims and strengthen safety and security of the temple and for those visiting Shree Jagannatha Temple.

An official of the temple managing committee said around Rs 800 crore will spent on the heritage corridor project. The work on the project will begin from June 1, 2021.

Approval from the NMA, ASI and Odisha government will be taken by February 28, 2021.

For the first time, Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra also attended the meeting.

Worth mentioning, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the officials and temple managing committee to prepare a draft proposal for the heritage corridor on December 30, 2019.

What is the Shree Jagannatha Heritage Corridor

Under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme of the Odisha government, the Shree Jagannatha Heritage Corridor (SJHC) will be developed around the Shree Jagannatha Temple at Puri. The SJHC will be a 75-meter corridor.

The proposal has following components –
1. Heritage corridor components (9)
2. Shree Jagannatha Reception Centre (SJRC)
3. Amenities
4. Matha Temples

The proposal divides the heritage corridor into 9 layers: a green buffer surrounding the temple complex, the Antar Pradakshina path, the Landscape zone, BahyaPradakshina path, the Public Convenience zone,service lane, shuttle cum emergency lane, mixed traffic lane and pedestrian footpath.

1. Heritage corridor (9 components)
The 75 meters of the SJHC abutting Meghanada Pacheri is broadly divided into nine (9)zones on the northern, southern and western side. These are –

i. 7meter Green Buffer Zone(adjacent to MeghanadaPacheri): This consists of a 2meter hardscape area abutting MeghandaPacheri for access by staff and maintenance purpose. The remainder 5meter is a 1ft high terraced landscape green.

ii. 10meterAntar (Inner) Pradakshina: For ceremonial procession of deities year-round and use by general public for parikrama of Shree Mandira complex.

iii. 14meter Landscape Zone: These gardens have been designed through meticulous research of the local arboriculture practices. Local varities of trees, used in Jagannatha Culture will be planted here.

iv. 8meterBahya (Outer) Pradakshina: Covered by trees on either side, this will act as a shaded pathway for visitors / pilgrims.

v. 10meter Public Convenience Zone: Along with plantation of tall trees and shrubs, this zone will have facilities such as restrooms, drinking water fountains, information-cum-donation kiosks, and shelter pavilions for shade and rest.

vi. 5meter service lane: For access by service vehicles and maintenance of the corridor.

vii. 4.5 meter wide dedicated shuttle cum emergency lane for any kind of emergency and disaster management.

viii. 7.5 meter mixed traffic lane to aid in movement of vehicles around the Heritage Corridor and to ensure access to properties abutting the outer access road as well as the lanes from the neighbouring Sahis meeting this outer access road.

ix. 7 Meter wide shaded footpath with trees is designed adjacent to the mixed traffic lane for a smoother pedestrian flow around the corridor and neighbouring area for people to commute. This will be equipped with parking bay for Sevayaks and temple workers, waste bins, street furniture, drinking water fountain etc.

The eastern plaza of the heritage corridor is proposed as a large open space as many festivals of Shree Mandira including the Rath Yatra starts from here. This will allow very large congregation of devotees to take place in a safe and secure environment. It is clear from above that more than 90% of the SJHC i.e about Ac.18 out of Ac.20 are being developed as open and green spaces. Further, the SJHC plan increases this open space from about Ac.5 to Ac.18 i.e an increase of 360%.

b. Shree Jagannatha Reception Centre (SJRC)

In order to meet the essential requirements of visitors to Shree Mandira and the SJHC, a queue management facility with capacity of 6,000 persons, along with security checking (Baggage screening) facility, main cloakroom for keeping belongings of up to four thousand families, drinking water and toilet facilities, facilities for washing hands and feet, souvenir including book shop etc. are being provided in this centre. This will be built over half an acre land available next to SJHC on South-East side.

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