Naveen Patnaik attends foundation stone-laying ceremony of Jagannath Heritage Corridor project in Puri

Published : November 24, 2021 19:44 IST

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Lord Jagannath temple heritage corridor project in Puri on November 24. Photo: By special arrangement

Major newspapers in Odisha carried full-page advertisements today about the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Shreemandira Parikrama project, or Lord Jagannath temple heritage corridor project, in Puri and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik attending it. The Chief Minister tweeted that the ceremony would be telecast live from 9.30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, the current titular King of Puri, laid the foundation for the corridor project in the presence of Naveen Patnaik and other dignitaries including Surjya Narayan Patro, State Assembly Speaker; Pinaki Misra, Member of Parliament from Puri; and Jayanta Kumar Sarangi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Puri. The event was telecast live on several TV channels and on various social media platforms.

The ceremony concluded a three-day-long yajna to mark the occasion. “Today is a historic day for the Jagannatha bhakts from all over the world. And indeed a sacred day for the people of Odisha,” said Naveen Patnaik.

The heads of several mutts and individuals who had given their land to the government for the heritage corridor around the boundary wall of the Jagannath temple were also felicitated by Naveen Patnaik on the occasion.

The project, being implemented at a cost of Rs.800 crore within a 75-metre radius of the temple, is part of the ABADHA (Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture) scheme that the State government launched in 2019 with the aim of developing Puri into a world-class heritage city.

Political analysts say that Naveen Patnaik has been able to earn the goodwill of the people through the project and it will help the ruling Biju Janata Dal in the forthcoming gram panchayat and civic body elections in the State.

They say that it is part of Naveen Patnaik’s efforts to stop the BJP from making inroads in the State. He is undertaking a series of projects to augment the attraction of old religious shrines, starting from Lord Jagannath temple in Puri followed by Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, Samaleswari temple in Sambalpur, Tara Tarini temple in Ganjam district, Manikeshwari temple in Kalahandi district, Jagannath temple in Mayurbhanj district and Baladevjew temple in Kendrapara district and many other places. Activists of the BJP’s youth wing, however, hurled eggs at the convoy of the Chief Minister and a few of his Ministers when they were returning from Puri after attending the ceremony.

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