50 crore for development of infrastructure for Nabakalebar

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The Jagannath temple administration has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 50 crore for development of infrastructure for Nabakalebar festival in Puri. The festival will be celebrated in 2015.

The budgetary provision was part of the shrine’s annual budget (2013-14) of over Rs 143.41 crore, approved by the Jagannath temple managing committee on Thursday. The ensuing fiscal’s budget is Rs 65 crore more than the 2012-13 budget, which was pegged at nearly Rs 78.37 crore.

“For the first time, we made the budgetary provision for Nabakalebar. Several projects would be undertaken at the temple keeping in mind the grand festival,” temple’s chief administrator Arvind Padhee said.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik last month approved a staggering Rs 1,000 crore on preparedness and overall infrastructure development for Nabakalebar festival. “The money will be spent on expansion of roads connecting Puri to some other cities, drinking water, health, sanitation and other amenities for the visitors. Special emphasis will be given on devotees’ accommodation and comfortable stay during the festival,” the chief minister had said. The government is also giving special emphasis on improvement of train connectivity. Around 10 lakh people had visited the beach town during the last edition of Nabakalebar in 1996. However, the government anticipates the crowd to go up by five times in 2015 because of better connectivity to Puri.

The temple administration has increased allocation for the welfare of shrine servitors. While about Rs 3.37 crore was earmarked for different welfare schemes of servitors in 2012-13, it has been hiked to nearly Rs 5.16 crore in 2013-14. Portions of the fund would be spent on proposed socio-economic survey of temple priests. The shrine body plans to float a host of new welfare schemes for socio-economic uplift of the poor priests.

Nabakalebar festival in Puri Nabakalebar

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