Centre will promote the July Nabakalebara festival of Lord Jagannath globally to woo tourists from across the world – Union minister for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma announced on Saturday.
“The Centre has decided to bring out a coffee table book, a special coin and a stamp on Nabakalebara festival. It has also decided to prepare a special documentary on the Rath Yatra to commemorate the festival,” he added.
Taking a swipe at the state government which has been accusing the Centre of not making any budgetary provisions for the Nabakalebara Yatra, Sharma said the state government had sought Rs 52 crore for the Yatra and the Centre has approved Rs 50 crore.
He said the state had immense tourism potential in the form of a Buddhist circuit, a vast coast line and spiritual places like Puri. “We are committed to promote Odisha as a tourist destination in the domestic as well as international circuits. Both the governments at the Centre and the state will make endevours in putting Odisha in the world tourism map”, Sharma said.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan expressed displeasure over the tardy progress of work by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the state and urged the agency to expedite the work.
On Saturday, the Union minister also launched the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation in the state. The scheme is aimed at developing tourist places in the country. It covers 12 cities, Puri being the only one from the state.