Millennium Post

Rs 41-cr project for Konark sun temple

Amid widespread apprehension over the safety of the famous Sun temple at Konark, an ambitious Rs 41 crore project was unveiled on Sunday for the peripheral development and beautification around the architectural marvel to attract more tourist.

Indian Oil Foundation (IOF), a non-profit trust of Indian Oil Corporation will spend Rs 36 crore for peripheral development and Archaeological Survey of India will provide Rs five crore for the development of the site museum at Konark.

Laying the foundation stone for the project, Union petroleum and natural gas minister M Veerappa Moily said development of tourist facilities by IOF in collaboration with ASI and national culture fund (NCF) of ministry of culture would be completed within 18 months, by February 2015.
‘We will not meddle with its architectural structure. We will preserve, develop and protect it for the posterity’, Moily said, adding that the endeavour would reach its desired completion with the support of Odisha government and people.

Seeking cooperation of the local people in the endeavour, Moily said without their participation nothing could move forward.
‘Konark is a famous destination in Odisha. We should not look at it only for future domestic tourism but international tourism by involving local people,’ he said.

He said Indian Oil was known for timely completion of mega-projects and cited the example of Paradip refinery. ‘The IOC chairman is here to implement the proposed project in a time bound period like Paradip refinery,’ Moily said.
Heaping praise on Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, seated next to him on the dais, Moily said the state government under the ‘dynamic chief ministership’ of Patnaik had extended all cooperation for projects undertaken by his ministry.

Stating that adoption of such projects by IOF, ASI and NCF was aimed at restoring and developing the cultural heritage of the country, the minister added that this would also boost tourism and generate revenue and means of employment.
Other places of heritage being taken for development include Khajuraho group of temples in Madhya Pradesh, Warangal fort in Andhra Pradesh, Vaishali city in Bihar, Bhoganandishwara temple and Devanahali fort in Karnataka and Daulatabad fort in Maharashtra.


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