Even as the Tourism and Culture Department is contemplating to create a heritage corridor comprising tourism sites between the Temple City of Bhubaneswar and Pilgrim City of Puri, work on a dedicated corridor project for tourism development within Bhubaneswar is moving at a snail’s pace.
This tourism corridor project is a part of the mega-tourist circuit for which the Centre had sanctioned ` 8.14 crore.
In 2010, the State Government had sanctioned the proposal of building a dedicated tourism corridor to link all the tourist sites in Bhubaneswar having religious and architectural significance. However, full-fledged work on it is yet to be taken up. The Capital city has 600 temples, including Buddhist and Jain shrines. The proposed corridor aimed at linking all important sites with Old Town is at the heart of this corridor.
It was proposed that the Old Town area will have a 40-foot road near the Lingaraj temple connecting Kotitirtheswar Lane and a proposed three-acre parking site. Later, the same road will be extended up to Kedar Gouri temple to facilitate smooth movement of tourist vehicles. Similarly, a ‘parikrama’ was planned around the Lingaraj temple. Sources in the Tourism Department said while work on ‘parikrama’ is on, construction of these roads has not started due to encroachments. “Until and unless the encroachments are removed, no work can be initiated,” said an official. As a part of infrastructure development to connect Buddhist and Jain sites, an amphitheatre was planned opposite Madhusudan Park in Pokhariput and a flyover at the railway level-crossing in the area.
“The plan for amphitheatre is ready and the State Government has asked Bhubaneswar Development Authority to implement the project. We have approached the government to lay the foundation stone of the project this month. Similar is the case with the railway level-crossing flyover at Pokhariput. Once the flyover is commissioned, the road from Dhauli to Khandagiri will become a vital link to various religious centres,” said Ashok Panda, MLA.