Bhubaneswar, January 1: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for setting up an international airport in Puri.
In a letter to Prime Minister, Patnaik said, “Odisha Government has identified land at Puri and will proactively support all activities required for establishing it in record time.”
“Holy city of Puri, abode of Lord Jagannath, is among Char Dhams of Hindu Dharma. It is organically linked to UNESCO World Heritage Sites while most Buddhist heritage sites are in vicinity. Its long coastline and coastal highway connect with ports present major economic opportunities,” wrote Patnaik.
Highlighting Puri’s potential to become a hub for spiritual, tourism and economic activities, Chief Minister impressed upon Prime minister to direct Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India for taking up this airport as a priority project.
“Hindus, from all over the world, visit Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri. The Sun Temple of Konark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just 35 km from Puri. Puri is organically linked to two Ramsar Sites, Chilka Lake on one side and Bhitarkanika National Park on the other. Puri beach has been recently transformed into a Blue Flag beach. Historic Buddhist heritage sites like Dhauli, Ratnagiri etc. with travel time within 3 hours from Puri, attract 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,” the Chief Minister noted.
“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,” Patnaik contended.
Maintaining that the Rath Yatra of Puri is a world-famous annual event attracting lakhs of pilgrims and visitors from across the world, Patnaik said the holy Rath Yatra is celebrated across 192 countries.
“The proposed airport will help bring Jagannath devotees from across the world to Puri and will help promote Jagannath culture across the world. Therefore, we propose that an international airport be established at Puri in the name of Sri Jagannath International Airport. The State Government has identified land at Puri for the purpose and will proactively support all the activities required for establishing the airport in a record time,” added Patnaik.