Odisha reserves 6 khondalite blocks for Puri heritage project

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has reserved 6 khondalite mining blocks for a project to be undertaken under Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme to develop Puri as a World Heritage City.

A notification by Steel and Mines Department stated that the khondalite blocks have been reserved for the state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) at Chandia (4 acre), Sukhuapada (78.3 acre) and Teligarh (27.5 acre) in Jajpur district, Gobindpur (20.3 acre) in Cuttack district, Kurumpada decorative stone block (1.67 acre) in Khordha and Kundakundi Kunda stone quarry (4.67 acre) of Narangarh in Khordha district.

The OMC has been allocated to extract minerals from these six mining blocks and supply rocks to the agencies to be engaged by the Works Department for the state government’s project in Puri.

However, Kundakundi Kunda stone quarry will be allotted to the OMC by Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for mining operation on certain conditions.

As per the terms and conditions, the OMC will provide minerals to agencies engaged in the Puri heritage project. The remaining khondalite stones not required by the agencies designated by the Works Department or SJTA can be sold by the state-owned mining corporation as per the due process of law.

This year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved infrastructure projects worth Rs 2308 crore for development of Puri.

The stones extracted from the mining blocks will be used for development of the heritage security zone around the centuries old Jagannath Temple, Shree Setu project, Musa River revival plan, Jagannath Ballav pilgrim centre, housing projects, Puri lake development project, Raghunandan library upgradation, Acharya Harihar square redevelopment project, Atharnala heritage project, mutt development initiative and development of heritage lakes in pilgrim town Puri.

A total of Rs 3208 crore will be spent under the ABADHA scheme in three years to transform Puri into a World heritage city.

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