The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 21 , 2014
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Skywalk to convention centre

Bhubaneswar, May 20: The proposed world class convention centre at Janata Maidan in the city will be linked to the nearby hotels with two skywalks.

While one of these will provide access to guests attending conventions and putting up at Hotel Swosti Premium, the Trident and the Mayfair Lagoon, the other will be connected to Sandy’s Tower, which is on the other side of the convention centre.

People taking the skywalk, which is an extended platform made for pedestrian use, will get down near these hotels without having to negotiate the usual traffic jams on the roads.

Odisha Industrial Development Corporation (Idco) will develop both the convention centre and the skywalks. However, the project is in its conceptual stage and Idco will hold talks with the hotels once the design is ready.

“We have almost completed the conceptual design. The Brisbane-based design consultant Populous will provide the final design. The cost estimation is also in process and within a month or two we will finish all the paraphernalia. The tenders will be ready by August-end,’’ said Idco chief general manager (civil) Ratan Agarwal.

In future, the proposed skywalk will be integrated into the design of the convention centre at Janata Maidan and the proposed world trade centre behind the Fortune Tower across the airport-Nandankanan road.

All the hotels near the convention centre are within a radius of 400 to 750 metres. Janata Maidan spreads over 24.3 acres, of this Gandhi Park occupies nearly 4 acres.

While 10 acres will be used for the convention centre, 10 acres of open space will be utilised for exhibition and cultural shows.

The proposed world trade centre across the main road will be constructed on 5 acres.

“Initially the skywalk plan was not there in the integrated plan for the convention and the world trade centres, but it was planned later keeping in view traffic jams,” said Idco chairman-cum-managing director Vishal Kumar Dev.

“We will sign MoUs with the concerned hotels for the skywalk. For this, a consultant will be engaged,” said the Idco chief general manager (civil).

Former councillor Subhranshu Patnaik said: “The state government depends mainly on private universities for organising big conventions here. Once the convention centre comes up, our area will become a major landmark of the state capital.’’

This is the second time a skywalk is being planned for the city.

Last year in September, the public works department had proposed two skywalks at Jaydev Vihar Square and Kalpana Square, respectively, for Rs 5 crore but the plan did not materialise because experts did not find the project technically feasible.