Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 23:
Odisha Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today asked concerned departments to give top priority to pilgrim’s comfort and convenience during their stay in the holy town of Puri for the Nabakalebara festival in July this year.
Presiding over a high-level review meeting at the State Secretariat here, Patnaik asked officials to lay emphasis on brand promotion for the mega festival and its documentation for wider publicity across the globe.
Keeping in mind the expected footfall of about 50 lakh devotees for the festival, special arrangements have been made for their safe accommodation in the pilgrim town, the meeting revealed.
It has been decided to put up temporary tents at 19 places in an area of 20 lakh sq ft where the pilgrims will have a rent-free stay and avail facilities including uninterrupted power supply, toilets, grocery shops etc.
Besides, 16 new permanent toilets and a number of temporary toilets would be set up at different places to ensure foolproof sanitation.
Stating that Nabakalebara is a pristine tradition of the Jagannath Cult, the Chief Minister laid emphasis on documentation of the mega festival. The Culture department was entrusted with the task of collecting and compiling write-ups on Jagannath cult published in two magazines— Utkala Prasanga and Odisha Review— during the previous Nabakelabara in 1950, 1966, 1977 and 1996 and publish them both in Odia and English.
It was also decided that the Culture department would publish articles on Nabakalebara by eminent litterateurs and scholars in Utkala Prasanga and Odisha Review on the occasion of Debasnana Purnima.
Besides, the Tourism and Culture, Industries and the IT departments would work in tandem for brand promotion of the festival.
It was decided that efforts would be made for its massive campaign in the social media for what is the first Nabakalebara of the 21st Centur. The IT department will develop an exclusive portal on Nabakalebara featuring the history of Shri Jagannath temple and complete information on the rituals and traditions performed and observed during the festival. The portal will also have a video gallery, photo gallery and major events during previous Nabakalebara festivals published in the print media. Apart from this, the portal will have a special blog on Nabakalebara.
All information on this portal would be available in both Odia and English.
The meeting also decided to introduce mobile SMS alert to provide information on the mega festival to the pilgrims .
Secretary, Information and Public Relations, informed that the department has started the work for documentation of entire proceedings of this year’s Nabakalebara.
Among others, additional chief secretary to the Chief Minister, additional chief secretary, Finance, secretary, Tourism, secretary, IT and senior officials of National Informatics Centre (NIC) were present at the meeting.