Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 21:
The Odisha government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) for introduction of light and sound show at the twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri, the Shanti Stupa at Dhauli and the Sun Temple, the 13th Century World Heritage site at Konark.
The MoU was signed by Ashok Kumar Tarenia, director, Odisha Tourism and Trinath Behera, director (Finance) of IDTC at the State Secretariat here in the presence of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, chief secretary GC Pati, Development Commissioner AP Padhi, additional chief secretary, Finance, UN Behera, commissioner-cum-secretary, state Tourism and Culture, secretaries and senior officials of the concerned departments.
As per the MoU, the estimated cost of the project for Khandagiri-Udayagiri, Dhauli and Konark is Rs 6.15 crore, Rs 6.06 crore and Rs 6.56 crore respectively. The Union Tourism ministry has sanctioned Rs 5 crore for each of the projects while the balance amount would be borne by the state government.
The ITDC has been entrusted with the implementation of these projects as executing agency.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said the three heritage sites of Odisha represent confluence of Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Complementing the efforts of the state Tourism department to attract more tourists to the state, Patnaik thanked the ITDC for its association in these projects and hoped that the project becomes operational in the specified time frame and much before the ensuing Nabakalebara festival scheduled next year.