The Odisha government’s plan to introduce shacks at the beach in Puri to offer Goa-like experience to tourists has suffered a major setback with several organisations in the pilgrim town upping the ante against the proposal.
The State Government had decided to introduce the facility of shacks at six beaches offering tourists to enjoy the best of food, chilled beverages and music at the beach. The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) had invited applications for the operation of shacks, the deadline of which is set to end tomorrow.
As per the government plan, five shacks will be allowed on the Puri-Konark marine drive in Puri district and five others in Gopalpur beach in Ganjam district.
However, more than 50 organisations have come together and strongly opposed the OTDC’s proposal. The organisation members said they will not allow the OTDC to go ahead with the plan that will facilitate drinking of liquor on the beach in a sacred place like Puri in the guise of development.
“Prabhu Param Bramha came floating in Mahodadhi (great ocean) in the form of daru (log) and stayed at his abode near the beach to save the world in the Kalyug. In such a sacred place where people visit for salvation, making arrangements for liquor, meat and dance is not only a cultural degradation, it is a big blow to our moral and fundamental rights too,” said intellectual Kailash Tikayatray.
Reacting over the issue, Puri Collector Samarth Verma said, “We will not take any step that will negatively impact the heritage city of Puri. The social outfits in Puri town and nearby areas have submitted their memorandum today. We will definitely take up the issues with the government.”
“It is a proposal only and we will discuss the feedback with the government,” he added.