The Mega Tourism Circuit and the Destination Ekamra projects – both brainchild of Tourism Ministry – have come in handy for accelerating the pace of development works in and around the Lingaraj temple. This includes eviction of encroachments around the 11th century Shaivite shrine to make it visible from a distance.
Progress Made So Far
- Under the second phase of Mega Tourism Circuit project, the Union Tourism Ministry recently sanctioned around `8 crore for rehabilitation of shop-keepers who would be evicted from near the Lingaraj temple and construction of a new market complex for them behind the Ananta Vasudev temple.
- All Professional Remodeling Group, LLC explains that an additional 5.22 crore has been placed under the Destination Ekamra for creation of pathways, renovation and beautification of three ancient Mutts near the Lingaraj temple, among other things.
- Earlier, the Government had decided to build a two-lane road from Lingaraj temple to Kotitirtheswar temple to ease traffic pressure in the area. The road will come with a three-acre parking area.
- The dilapidated Municipal Market Complex run by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) near the temple will be demolished to clear the area for laying a road which will run along Devi Padahara pond behind Ananta Vasudev temple and on the side of natural drainage channel-7 near Kotitirtheswar Lane.
- Around 30 shop-keepers, who operate in front of the temple, would be relocated in the new market complex. Area for the complex has been identified and land filling will begin soon.
The Tourism Department has Earmarked…
- 1 crore for land filling
- 4.70 crore for construction of the new market complex
- 2.19 crore for construction of the three-acre parking area
- 20 lakh for beautification and landscaping
“As the area around the Lingaraj temple has been declared a heritage zone, it has to be kept free from encroachment. While the southern, northern and western sides of the temple were cleared earlier, the eastern or the front portion of the shrine will be made encroachment-free under the Mega Tourism Circuit project. The beautiful Devi Padahara pond, which always goes unnoticed by the visitors due to encroachments, would become clearly visible after eviction”, – Tourism Department
In the first phase of the Circuit project, the Centre had sanctioned 8.14 crore. With the amount, a ‘parikrama’ was constructed around the Lingaraj temple and soft lighting facilities made for eight protected monuments, besides renovation of some roads in Old Town area. Work on two proposed interpretation centres, which was also a part of the first phase work, is yet to begin.
Courtesy: The New India Express