Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 21:
The Centre has included Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath in Odisha, in the National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) and allocated Rs 22.54 crore in the first phase for developmental work in the pilgrim town over the next two years.
The new scheme was jointly launched by Union minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu and Union minister of Tourism and Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi today.
Expressing his gratitude, Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu for the inclusion of Puri in the list. He said the decision of the Centre has made the people of Odisha proud as this has been done in the Nakalabara year of the Lords.
The new scheme seeks to promote an integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of heritage sites, focusing not just on maintenance of monuments but on advancement of the entire ecosystem, including its citizens, tourists and local businesses.
The Centre has decided to provide Rs 500 crore to the 12 cities selected in the first phase under the new scheme.