By Our Correspondent
BHUBANESWAR/PURI: Continuing its efforts to make pilgrimage city of Puri, Odisha State Cabinet,which met on Monday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved Rs 3208 crore to make it as a World Class Heritage City.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy while talking to media after the Cabinet meet that Rs 3,208 crore will be spent under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture in three years between 2019-20 and 2021-22, out of the approved amount for Puri, Rs 719 crore will be spent during the current year. Till date 15 projects have already been cleared for Puri.
The Cabinet also approved another proposal for allocation of Rs 641.57 crore to implement drinking water projects which will benefit over 3.2 lakh people in the three districts of Jajpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj, the Chief Secretary said. A similar project will be taken up in Deogarh district at a cost of around Rs 348 crore.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also decided to hand over the control of the Govardhan Math to Puri’s Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati by taking it out of the purview of the Orissa Hindu Religious Endowment Act, 1951.
The Cabinet passed a proposal to exclude the Govardhan Matt from the Act considering the pre-eminence and unique place occupied by the Shankaracharya among Hindu religious institutions of State. The cabinet resolution said an amendment in the Act will be made soon for better upkeep of the religious pre-eminence and importance of the institution.
Official sources said that the State control over 16000 temples and 450 Mutts (Hindu monasteries) in the state through the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowment Act. The government appoints trustees for each temple or Mahants for the mutts for day-to-day management and is the sole arbiter as regards to the sale of mutt properties.