Centre grants Rs 50 crore for Nabakalebar, ‘Prasad’ launched

Bhubaneswar: Reviewing preparation work of Nabakalebar festival, Union Tourism minister Mahesh Sharma today assured the State of all type of assistance here at the State Secretariat.

The State demanded Rs 52 crore against which the Centre has allocated Rs 50 cr, Sharma said, adding more allocation will be made through other schemes if needed.

He said the central government will also supplement budgetary support as per the requirements of the festival, which would be promoted globally.

The minister also launched Centre’s new scheme ‘Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation’ in the state. The scheme is aimed at development of tourist places in the country and benefiting the tourists.

The tourism minister said the government is planning to promote Odisha on international tourism map. The tourism ministry in coordination with the petroleum ministry will observe the Nabakalebar festival as an international tourism event this year.

Meanwhile, the union minister also inaugurated the ‘Pilgrimage Rejuvenation & Spiritual Augmentation’ (Prasad) scheme for the development of tourists spots in the State. He said the centre has planned to place Odisha in the tourism map of the world.

The central government has decided to bring out a Coffee Table Book, make a special documentary on the Rath Yatra and coins and stamps to commemorate the festival. The Odisha government expects congregation of about 50 lakh pilgrims to witness the festival in Puri.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was present on the occasion, expressed displeasure over the work of ASI. He said the works of ASI is not satisfactory in Odisha and it is need to be expedited.

Among others, Odisha Tourism minister Ashok Panda, chief secretary GC Pati, state tourism secretary Arvind Padhee attended the meeting.