The program was taken up under the 5T initiative with the aim of developing major shrines, important heritage sites and tourist destinations to attract more visitors.
Redevelopment of major shrines like Kantilo Nilamadhab in Nayagarh district, Cuttack Chandi temple and Sarala temple at Jhankada in Jagatsinghpur are on the cards.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently approved the master plans of Nilamadhab (Rs 100 crore), Cuttack Chandi (Rs 70 crore) and Sarala (Rs 42 crore) for the development of the three main shrines. The target has been set to implement the master plans for the three sanctuaries within one year.
“Unlike other government programs, the master plans for these three sanctuaries are implemented under the direct supervision of the Chief Minister’s office. Therefore, the program is considered a top priority. There will be no shortage of funds as adequate allocation will be made in the annual budget,” a senior government official said.
Although the government earmarked Rs 150 crore under the program for the financial year 2022-23 in the reckoning vote which was presented to the assembly on March 30, sources said the allocation may increase in the full budget. While Rs 50 crore has been allocated under the scheme in 2020-21, no specific amount has been earmarked for 2021-22.
Besides the development of the three temples, the rebranding of several other places under the regime is on the cards. Other programs targeting the development of religious places, which can also benefit from a considerable budgetary allocation, include the increase in basic amenities and the development of heritage and architecture (ABADHA) for the development of the temple of Puri Jagannath, Ekamra Kshetra Amenities and Monuments Revival Action (EKAMRA) for the redevelopment of the Lingaraj Temple and the Samaleswari Temple Local Economy and Management Initiative (SAMALEI) for the development of the Samaleswari Temple.