Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday approved the master plan for the development of the Kantilo Neelmadhab Peetha.
The project will cost Rs 100 crore and be completed within 18 months.
The approval came at a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister where detailed deliberation was done on the master plan.
The Chief Minister sought the cooperation of the local people and services for the successful implementation of the project.
Notably, the Neelmadhab Peetha has a close relationship with the Jagannath culture. It is believed that the Neelmadhab Peetha was worshiped by Lord Vishwabasu as a sapphire in the Brahmadri Mountains.
Thousands of devotees come to the Neelmadhab Peetha every day to witness this manifestation of the Lord.
The majestic view of the river north of the Brahmadri Mountains is breathtaking and one of the major attractions for tourists.
The systematic development of this holy shrine will also help in the economic development of the local area as well as the devotees and tourists.
On the instructions of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister’s Secretary 5T VK Pandian visited the Neelmadhav Peetha last week and discussed the development plan with the ministry and the local people and ordered the preparation of a master plan.
The master plan focuses mainly on the restoration of the temple, the sightseeing, the beautification of the sand dunes, the improvement of the surrounding roads, the shade of the trees, the parking with the gardens, the protection of the banks of the river and the beautification of the riverside.
The east, west, north, south four gates will be upgraded with the restoration of the steps leading to the temple. Steps will also be taken to make it easier for the elderly and the disabled to visit.
Khandalite stones will be laid around the temple grounds and surrounding areas, and temples and gardens will be developed. Rasbihari Mandap, Raghunath Math and Batamangala temples will also be developed besides cloak rooms and laundry facilities.
Lift Lobby, Sky Bridge, etc. will be arranged through the west gate of the temple while the roads on the east and west sides will be paved to allow easy access to the temple.
The east side road will be widened by 4 meters and the west side road by 12 meters.
A 400-meter protective wall will be constructed to protect the temple from the floodwaters of the river.
The project will require a total of two acres of land and the district administration has been directed to acquire land in accordance with the Rehabilitation and Thirsthan Policy.
The project will be implemented through the Department of Public Works. The Department of Water Resources will build a protective wall to prevent flooding.
Principal Secretary, Department of Public Works, Bir Bikram Yada presented the project at the meeting.