Bose boost to tourism - Naveen lays foundation stone of Rs 2.36crore project in Cuttack

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  • Published 24.01.11

Cuttack, Jan. 23: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today laid the foundation stone of a Rs 2.36 crore destination tourism project near the Netaji Birthplace Museum here on the occasion of the 114th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose.

“The project aims to beautify the place around Netaji Birthplace Museum and attract tourists,” the chief minister said.

The central government had already sanctioned Rs 2.36 crore for development of the museum under the destination tourism project that envisages construction of a state-of-the-art public convenience-cum-interpretation centre, upgrading infrastructure for boating club and floating jetty, refurbishing of existing waterbody with stone packing around it and creating a parking area.

“The state government has made available the land near the museum, along with the Ganga Mandir Tank, for the project. The Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) will execute the project,” tourism minister Debi Prasad Mishra said.

“The plan envisages transformation of the area surrounding Netaji Birthplace Museum into an amusement and recreational zone to position it as a major tourist spot,” Mishra added.

The project is expected to be completed within a year. Details of the project indicated that the public convenience-cum- interpretation centre, at an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore, would be equipped with facilities to enlighten visitors about the life and times of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The centre would also house conference and meeting halls. Kiosks as well as a souvenir and memorabilia shops will also be set up.

While Rs 26.28 lakh had been earmarked for upgrading infrastructure for the boating club and floating jetty, another Rs 87.36 lakh will be spent towards refurbishing of Ganga Mandir Tank along with stone packing around it.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik also inaugurated a new heritage portal which has been constructed by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation at a cost of Rs 3 lakh.

The Netaji Birthplace Museum authorities, on the other hand, have failed to come up with the two new galleries — one gallery on the spiritual life of Bose and another on the freedom fighters of the state who were associated with him — that had been planned earlier.

“Initially it was planned that the two new galleries would be opened on his 114th birth anniversary today. But it could not be done due to pending civil works,” said J.P. Das, curator of the museum.

The museum already has thirteen galleries depicting Bose’s early life, his student and political life, his time in the INA, the provisional government of the Azad Hind, the Azad Hind Radio and the National Bank of Azad Hind.

“But on this occasion, we have added to the INA gallery a sword used by the women soldiers of the Rani of Jhansi Regiment of the Azad Hind Fauz under Lakshmi Sahgal. We have also added to the National Bank of Azad Hind gallery an old painting of Bose which is similar to his portrait on the paper currencies issued by his provisional government,” Das said.

“Both the items were donated by Sk Aminullah of Manglabag area of the city. Sk Aminullah is the son of late S. Asadullah, who was a medical officer in the Azad Hind Fauz”, he added.