Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 13:
Aware of the resentment in Odisha over the absence of a package for the upcoming Nabakalebara festival in the pilgrim town of Puri in the Union Budget, the Centre today sought to make amends announcing that it would promote the grand event on the international tourist map in a big way and make available necessary funds for its smooth organisation.
A slew of measures to package and promote the once-in-a-generation festival were decided upon at a meeting between Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Tourism Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma in which Secretaries of Ministry of Culture and Tourism were also present. Among them were nternational branding and promotion of the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra, a Coffee Table Book and a special documentary on the Rath Yatra by the Ministry of Culture and issue of coins and stamps to commemorate the event
“Tourism Ministry has already sanctioned Rs 50 crore and Centre will also supplement budgetary support as per the requirements of the event. The government is committed to make the event glitch-free as lakhs of people would be visiting the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra,” Pradhan said after the meeting.
All the stakeholders, including Odisha Tourism, tourist guides, people in the hospitality and travel industry and the Culture & Tourism Ministry of the Government of India will make consolidated efforts to promote this even an international tourism event, Pradhan added.
Tourism Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma informed that his Ministry was making efforts to utilise the 450-km long coastal belt for promoting tourism in Odisha. He informed that discussions revolved around making suitable arrangements to make this a memorable event.
Pradhan and Sharma will undertake a two-day visit to the state on 20-21 of this month to review the Nabakalebara preparations.