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Design nod to trade hub

Bhubaneswar, March 3: The city’s dream of having a world-class convention centre came closer to be realised with the Empowered Committee on Infrastructure giving its nod to the conceptual designs of the convention-cum-trade zone on approximately 24.30 acres at Janata Maidan here.

The centre to be built in the public-private partnership mode would be funded by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) and other state government agencies, while operated, maintained and managed by a private partner.

“A private party has been selected as the technical consultant for preparing the designs and master plan for the project,” said an Idco official. The corporation had floated an expression of interest for preparation of the project’s master plan in April last year.

The proposed convention-cum-trade zone would have a convention hall with a seating capacity of 2,500 persons and features of audio-visual conferencing equipment and facilities of video projection. Besides, a number of mini conference halls with seating capacity ranging between 50 and 1,000 would also be set up. Facilities such as tourist office, bank, travel desk and VIP lounges would also be there for trade fairs and other shows.

A proposed design of a conference hall of the convention centre

An Idco official said the mini conference halls could host around 12 to 16 functions simultaneously. “These halls would be used for seminars and meetings. The small halls could also be combined to form a large hall to hold the required event,” said an official.

At present, Janata Maidan is being used as a preferred location for spiritual congregations, which can accommodate around one lakh visitors. Besides, trade fairs such as Toshali Craft Fair, Krishi Mela and cultural events are also being organised at the venue.

Janata Maidan was selected as the proposed site for the project due to the presence of many star hotels near the ground. Similarly, the site is located eight and seven kilometres away from airport and the railway station, respectively, making it a suitable site.

Earlier, Idco had proposed a similar convention centre in 2008-09, and it had even floated an expression of interest. But, the proposed convention centre with 2,500 seating capacity in the Mancheswar industrial estate did not materialise.

The city has a few indoor halls for cultural events, including Jayadev Bhavan and Rabindra Mandap. But, these often are not considered for major events as seating capacity of both these venues are around 500.