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Paper and jute to rule Bali yatra ground

- Bigger platform for eco-friendly fest

Cuttack, Nov. 24: Customers will be delivered goods put up for sale in bio-degradable packaging materials and carry bags at the national-level Pallishree Mela at Bali yatra this year.

With more than 300 kiosks devoted to ethnic and rural crafts from different states across the country and Odisha, Pallishree Mela is the largest participant in the week-long annual fair along the banks of Mahanadi river starting November 28.

Around 1,400-1,500 kiosks will come up at Bali yatra this year. All the kiosks will deliver the goods in paper, net cotton or jute bags instead of the hazardous polythene bags.

State panchayati raj department’s Odisha rural development and marketing society (Ormas) organises the Pallishree Mela jointly with the department of textile and handicrafts, Khadi and Village Industries Commission and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).

“To popularise the biodegradable packaging materials and carry bags, they would be showcased in six exclusive kiosks for direct sale to customers,” Ormas Cuttack unit chief executive Bipin Rout told The Telegraph today.

Ethnic and rural crafts from over 20 states and Odisha at the fair have been a major attraction at the Bali yatra. With a footfall of nearly three lakh every day, the business at Pallishree Mela last year was around Rs 8 crore.

“We expect a sizeable increase in business this year as the number of kiosks has been increased from 300 to 350 covering an area of 1.25 lakh sqft (against one lakh sqft last year) keeping in view the interest of visitors and increased requests for participation,” Rout said.

“For the first time there will be a food section consisting of 10 kiosks devoted exclusively to different traditional food items associated with different parts of Odisha,” he added.

Ormas officials said among the varied ethnic handicrafts and handlooms along with traditional goods at Pallishree Mela would be Chanderi sari and brass metal products from Madhya Pradesh, woollen items from Kashmir, block print and tie & die textiles and leather products from Rajasthan, wood items from Andhra Pradesh, cane and bamboo crafts from Tripura and Meghalaya, decorative items from the northeast, incense from Mysore, Kanjivaram saris from Tamil Nadu, and handloom and handicraft products from Odisha.