Vikash Sharma

A coordinated effort is currently underway to make the historic Bali Yatra festival in Cuttack more cleaner and greener this year. The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) is planning to set up special stalls where visitors can get cashback of Rs 5 for every plastic water bottle they return.

Cuttack Mayor Subhash Singh informed that there are plans to set up at least 18 such stalls at different parts of the Bali Yatra ground this year. Bali Yatra on the banks of Mahanadi River will commence on November 8 this year.

“We have made special plans to make Bali Yatra plastic-free. We will set up stalls at different locations where visitors can exchange plastic bottles and other items and collect Rs 5,” said Singh.

CMC officials said that after purchasing water bottles from any particular shop, a visitor can get the cashback by depositing the bottle at any of the special kiosks during the fair.  The process of onspot booking of plots for setting up of stalls is currently underway.

Also Read: Bali Yatra 2022: Special enclosure, new additions to woo visitors 

According to Singh, seven committees have also been set up comprising various organisations, NGOs, Self-Help Groups and others to promote ‘clean and green Bali Yatra.’

It is pertinent to mention here that the district administration and CMC has been coming up with special initiatives every year to improve the facilities and visitors’ experience during Bali Yatra. Earlier, biodegradable carry bags had replaced polythene packages as part of the ongoing measures to make Bali Yatra a plastic-free zone.

Other Attractions At Bali Yatra This Year:

- A unique Guinness Book of World Records will be attempted at Bali Yatra this year. As per plans, around 2,000 to 3,000 students and other stakeholders will try to secure the record by preparing 10,000 paper boats.

- Gigantic welcome gates will be installed at different locations and tableaus to move in different parts of Twin City to promote Bali Yatra.

- For the first time, a laser show will be organised during the historic trade fair. The laser light will display more than 10 videos on the rich maritime history of Cuttack, five visits of Mahatma Gandhi to the city and ‘Bara Putras’ of Odisha.