Bali yatra gets eco-friendly

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By LALMOHAN PATNAIK
  • Published 26.10.10
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Cuttack, Oct. 25: At the Bali yatra here starting on Kartika Purnima, Khuris or environment-friendly earthen cups, which had lost its demand in the recent years will replace plastic cups to serve tea and water. This decision was taken by senior officials of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) during a meeting on Sunday.

“The move is a small step in environment protection,” Cuttack collector Kishore Kumar Mohanty told The Telegraph today. “Besides, it will generate business and employment for the local potters,” he said.

About three to five lakh people throng the fair every year. Official sources said nearly 1,300 kiosks and pavilions would be put up at the fair. Ethnic and rural crafts from Orissa and other states across the country would be the main attractions at the Gandhi Shilpa Bazaar organised by the Orissa Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS).

Mohanty said: “A maiden attraction at the Bali yatra will be the special pavilion for Cuttack tarkashi (silver filigree) to facilitate future marketing prospects by providing a platform for buyers and sellers to meet.”

“Besides, the special pavilion is aimed at giving a fillip to the silver filigree centre (SFC) project for which the district administration had recently handed over three acres of land Mundasahi on the banks of Mahanadi,” said the collector.

Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) is to link the SFC with tourism sector and use funds to the tune of Rs 1 crore from the Union government under its Circuit Development Scheme to give shape to the project.

The fair on the banks of the Mahanadi River near Barabati Fort would start on November 21 and continue till November 27.

“Handicraft products of village artisans, silk, khadi products from Orissa and 24 other states will be on sale at the Gandhi Silpa Bazar,” said chief executive of ORMAS (Cuttack Chapter) Bipin Rout.

“The Gandhi Silpa Bazar, sponsored by Government of India’s Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) in the ministry of textile, helps to popularise the ethnic and other rural products,” Rout added.

Participating agencies include khadi and village industries corporation (KVIC), NABARD, union textile ministry, Mission Shakti and District Rural Development Agencies of Orissa.

Additional district magistrate (ADM) D.K. Patnaik said the entire Bali yatra maidan would be insured thereby ensuring adequate protection against any disaster and natural calamity.

The organisers — Cuttack District Cultural Board — and CMC also decided to earmark six to eight temporary parking areas on all sides of the maidan. Official sources said the maidan will be divided into different zones with each zones being demarcated into sectors with adequate number of entrance and exit gates.