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Odisha government plans to construct dharamsala in Puri

Officials say once the construction is over, state will take a decision about room rent to be charged from customers during their stay
There were around 40 lakh visitors in Puri during the  Rath Yatra this year.
There were around 40 lakh visitors in Puri during the Rath Yatra this year.
File picture

Subhashish Mohanty   |   Bhubaneswar   |   Published 25.07.22, 03:21 AM

In view of the large flow of tourists to Puri, Odisha government has decided to construct a dharamsala — a low-cost boarding and lodging facility, for tourists and visitors, especially the senior citizens — in the holy town.

The project will come up under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme. The Baselisahi Dharamsala project will come up at an investment of Rs 135 crore.

“The State Cabinet has approved the Turnkey Tender of the lowest negotiated Turnkey bid of M/s Shreejikrupa Projects Limited amounting to Rs 135.6 crore only, excluding applicable GST for the execution of the above work. The work is targeted for completion within a period of 24 calendar months,” a press release issued by the state government on Tuesday stated. Officials maintained once the construction of the Dharamsala was completed, the state would take a decision about the room rent to be charged from the customers during their stay.

During the Rath Yatra this time, which was held with public participation after two years, the holy town witnessed an inflow of nearly 40 lakh visitors. It has remained a major challenge for the state government to provide the visitors with affordable accommodation in Puri.

In order to overcome the crisis, the state government is implementing a number of infrastructure projects in the holy town. “The tourists are back in Puri again. Though we have a number of hotels and lodging houses, the Dharamsala will serve the demand of devotees for low-cost lodging to a great extent,” said Puri Hotel Association president Ram Krishna Dasmohapatra.

Tourism is picking up in Puri after a long gap during which the town was first hit by the cyclone Fani and then the Covid-19 pandemic. Things have started improving only recently and the large turnout of devotees and tourists during the recent Rath Yatra was a sign of it.

The state government has decided to contribute in its own way by providing low-cost accommodation to the visitors, who are mostly pilgrims.

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