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Vikash Sharma

Puri: In a move likely to boost the accommodation facilities for devotees visiting Puri to get a glimpse of Mahaprabhu Jagannath, the district administration will soon come up with a low-cost lodging centre 'Bhakta Niwas' for those seeking a place of stay in the pilgrim town.

As per the plans, already 9 to 10 acres of land for the Bhakta Niwas project has been identified near Baseli Sahi police station, informed Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar on Saturday.

Kumar said once this project is complete, devotees coming to Puri can avail accommodation facility at reasonable and affordable rates. Already a discussion is underway to fix the per-bed-rate for one person between Rs 100 to Rs 150.

Senior officials of the district administration informed that this would facilitate stay of nearly 3,000 to 4,000 devotees at the Bhakta Niwas in the first phase. Steps will also be taken to ensure that the devotees get meals at a much cheaper price, and process to finalise the kitchen has already begun.

"The Odisha government had earlier decided to build low-cost lodging facilities for the devotees coming to the pilgrim town. The land for the mega project has been identified and we hope work for the same will start very soon," said Kumar.

The SJTA chief administrator further informed that the State government has undertaken a lot of welfare and developmental projects under the ABADHA scheme (Augmentation of Basic Amenities & Development of Heritage and Architecture) at Puri.

In a high-level meeting today, a detailed discussion was held wherein progress of several projects including multi-level car parking and market complexes were reviewed.

"We are coming up with two multi-level car parking complex - one at Jail road and another at the Jagannath Ballabh Math which will accommodate over 1200 vehicles. Work for development of the temple heritage corridor is also underway," Kumar added.

(Edited By Devbrat Patnaik)

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