3 more on govt mind

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  • Published 4.03.14

Bhubaneswar, March 3: The state government has decided to develop tourism interpretation centres at Jayadev Vatika near Khandagiri, international peace pagoda at Dhauli and historic Barunei hills near Khurda.

The tourism department will set up these centres on the lines of a similar facility being built at the foothills of the Khandagiri-Udaygiri caves.

The first centre, which is nearing completion near Khandagiri, will showcase the tourism potential of the golden triangle — Konark, Puri and Bhubaneswar and other lesser-known sites around the state capital.

An official of the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), which is developing the mega complex that will be equipped with a crafts village, food court, souvenir centre, audiovisual facility and a parking lot, said: “We are going to replicate the concept at Jayadev Vatika near the Khandagiri-Udaygiri caves, the centre there will be equipped to impart knowledge on medicinal plants of the region. An amenity centre for the tourists will also be built there.”

The State Institute for Development of Arts and Crafts is also developing a common facilitation centre for handicrafts at Khandagiri near the complex being built by the OTDC.

The facilitation centre will promote artisans working with stone, brass, bell metals, fibre, appliqué, terracotta and patta chitra. Both the centres are being built for an estimated cost of Rs 1.8 crore.

“With Odisha worldwide recognition and emerging as a major tourist destination, the state government is planning to have a dedicated road network or corridor to link the Buddhist site, Dhauli and the Jain monument at Khandagiri. We are also planning tourism interpretation and amenity centres for all the major tourist hubs on the city outskirts and beyond,’’ said OTDC general manager M.R. Patnaik.

The peace pagoda at Dhauli will have a major renovation plan with the cleaning and re-charging of a lake on the foothills of the Buddhist site. A parking lot will also come up to ease movement of tourist vehicles coming to the site. There will be two separate pathways so that tourists can walk between the ghat on river Daya and the pagoda and between the Asokan Pillar and the craft bazaar. The plan also includes a proposal to develop a park for sculptors near the riverbank.

“The entire renovation plan for Dhauli will cost nearly Rs 3 crore,’’ said a senior engineer of the OTDC.

Barunei Hills near Khurda is also a sought-after destination with the Khurda-Jatni corridor now buzzing with activities.

To woo tourists, the tourism department is planning to develop an interpretation and amenities centre for Rs 80 lakh said OTDC senior executive engineer J.K. Das.