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Naveen seeks funds for Nabakalebara

A day after the ruling BJD slammed the Planning Commission for rejecting Odisha’s demand for special category status, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday sought assistance worth Rs 1,397 crore from the plan panel to organize Jagannath’s ‘Nabakalebara’ festival at Puri in 2015.

“I seek your personal intervention for the support of the Planning Commission for this important religious and cultural event of eastern India,” Naveen said in a letter to Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“It is a ritual followed for centuries and the grandest of all ceremonies associated with Jagannath Temple,” he noted.

Nabakalebara, a ceremony associated with the Jagannath culture, takes place either in 12 or 19 years, according to the Hindu almanac.

In the ceremony, idols of the three lords are replaced with new ones. Earlier, Nabakalebara was organised in 1950, 1969, 1977 and 1996. The entire process continues for about 30 to 50 days.

The CM said a large number of projects, including new infrastructure development, strengthening of existing services and amenities and capacity building, are lined up for the big event. “Provision of drinking water, sanitation, sewerage, drainage, expansion of grid stations and distribution network for supply of electricity, augmentation of road network, improvement of railway station, etc., are of critical importance,” he pointed out.
Nabakalebara at Puri in 2015
“Health care and trauma care centres will be established. A comprehensive mobility plan including routes and parking is under preparation. Temporary township and other accommodation and shelters shall be put up in substantial numbers. It is imperative that law and order, traffic and crowd management are geared up for the occasion,” he added.

Earlier, Naveen had written a letter to the Centre demanding immediate construction of world-class railway stations in Puri and Bhubaneswar.

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