The Orissa government has decided to promote heritage tourism at eight locations along the coast line with an investment of Rs 7.41 crore in the next five years.
Based on archeological, architectural, sculptural and historical importance, the selected structures, identified by the state archeology department, would be taken up under the World Bank funded Rs 227.64-crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.
The aim of the component is to preserve the heritage of coastal area and promote community-based heritage tourism, which would create livelihood opportunity for coastal communities and create self-employment, sources said.
The structures identified to get a face lift under the scheme included Potagarh (Buried Fort), located on the bank of river Rushikulya in Ganjam town which stands as a mute witness to the vicissitudes of history in Orissa.
Apart from historic Potagarh, the British Cemetery near Ganjam town, Bhaba Kundaleswar temple of Manikapatna, Baliharichandi temple near Puri, Hariharadeva temple, Nairi, Bateswara temple, Kantiagada (Ganjam), Jagannath temple, Pentha and Jamboo Colonial Building, Kendrapara will be refurbished under the scheme.
Preservation of ancient monuments under the project will include their protection, structural conservation, chemical conservation, landscaping and maintainance from time to time.
It may be noted Orissa is one of the three pilot states, which is implementing the five-year ICZMP to protect its coastal belt and develop the socio-economic status of the people living along the coast, especially fisher folks. The other two states where the project is underway are Gujarat and West Bengal.
The officials of the Gujarat and West Bengal projects along with a World Bank team visited various places including Ganjam and Kendrapada districts in the state recently to review the implementation of the project. Project Director of ICZM (Orissa) AK Pattnaik briefed the team about various steps taken under the project and their progress. The scheme, whose tenure spans from 2010 to 2015, is being implemented in two coastal stretches: Paradeep to Dhamara and Gopalpur to Chilika.