Odisha CM Proposes To Centre For International Airport At Puri
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday proposed to the Centre to set up an international airport at Puri in the name of Sri Jagannath International Airport.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naveen said Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath, is among the Char Dhams (four spiritual seats) of Hindus who visit the Jagannath Temple in the town from all over the world.
The Sun Temple at Konark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 35 kms from Puri and along with the adjacent Ramachandi-Chandrabhaga beaches provides a unique experience to national and international tourists.
Stating that Puri is organically linked to two Ramsar Sites — Chilka Lake (India’s first Ramsar site and UNESCO World Heritage site) on one side and Bhitarkanika National Park on other side, he said both these locations have huge potential for international eco-tourism. Besides, Puri beach has been recently transformed into a Blue Flag beach with world-class experience for the tourists.
“Most of the historic Buddhist Heritage sites like Dhauli and Ratnagiri, with travel time within 3 hours from Puri, attract Buddhist Pilgrims from across the World. The long coastline and adjoining bay area near Puri are an ideal location for promoting new world economic activities, leisure and hospitality, health and spiritual centres,” he said.
On the economic front, the chief minister said since the Coastal Highway passes through this area and connects Paradeep Port and the greenfield Astarang Port, there is great potential for economic synergy along the entire corridor.
“We believe that Puri has potential to become a hub for spiritual tourism and economic activities,” Naveen said.
The Rath Yatra of Puri is a world-famous annual event attracting lakhs of pilgrims and visitors from across the world. The Rath Yatra is celebrated across 192 countries. The proposed airport will help bring Jagannath devotees from across the world to Puri and help promote Jagannath culture across the world.
The chief minister said the state government has identified land at Puri for the proposed airport and will proactively support all activities required for establishing the airport in a record time. “I request that the Ministry of Civil Aviation may be asked to take up this airport as a priority project” Naveen said.
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