PURI: The chief minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, laid the foundation of several heritage and infrastructure projects worth over around Rs. 500 crore at the Municipal Market Construction site for the development of the Pilgrim Town into one of the best international destinations.
The projects whose foundation stones were laid include a 2.3-km trumpet bridge (Sree Setu) from Mangalaghat connecting Jagannath Ballav pilgrim centre with old jail parking place at a cost of around Rs 181 crore. Rs 190 crore would be spent towards the construction of Jagannath Ballav Pilgrim Centre which can accommodate 10,000 devotees, pilgrim help centre, multi-storey parking place for 1,000 cars and a commercial complex, Rs 90 crore would be spent for constructing a multi-storey parking place for 500 cars and 100 two-wheelers. The Pilgrim Centre will be spread over 5.5 acres.
A commercial complex which can house 350 shops would be built to accommodate the traders whose shops were demolished to create 75-metre heritage corridor around the temple recently. Besides, Rs 44.82 crore would be spent for reconstruction of a four-storey market complex with 479 shops and a parking place.
Similarly, Rs 5 crore would be spent for modernising the Swargadwar. Funds have been released from the Chief Minister’s relief fund for this process. Keeping the ecology of Puri beach in sight, the vendors would be provided modern kiosks with changing rooms for visitors at a cost of Rs 12 crore.
Besides, a centralised kitchen for cooking 50,000 meals every day would be constructed at Mangalaghat under Ahar scheme. Other projects would be provided funds from Abhada scheme. The Odisha Bridge Construction Corporation has been entrusted the responsibility to execute these projects within two years. All the Abadha projects are targeted to complete by the end of 2022.
Earlier, the Chief Minister arrived at Puri helipad in his maiden visit this year. He went to temple and offered prayer to the deities. He told the media persons that he was happy to visit Puri and the town would be transformed into a better place soon.