Odisha's five-time Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, displayed unwavering determination to see through the completion of the Srimandir Parikrama Prakalpa, also known as the temple heritage corridor in Puri, even expressing a willingness to forgo his 24-year-old government, according to VK Pandian, a leader of the BJD (Biju Janata Dal) and chairman of Nabin Odisha.
Speaking at the International Conclave on Urban Transformation attended by representatives from 11 countries and 20 Indian states, Pandian, a close aide to Patnaik and a bureaucrat-turned-politician, recounted the Chief Minister's commitment to the Rs 800-crore heritage corridor project. Patnaik, determined to complete the project, was ready to take risks, even contemplating the sacrifice of his government.
Pandian emphasized the challenges Patnaik faced in pursuing the project, with some questioning the political risks involved. However, the Chief Minister, now in his fifth term, remained resolute, expressing that the people of Odisha had placed their trust in him, and he was committed to fulfilling their expectations. Patnaik conveyed to a concerned individual, "I will take risk, I will forgo my government, but I will get this done."
Highlighting the significance of the Jagannath Temple and the people's emotional attachment to it, Pandian noted that Patnaik was driven by the desire to do "a larger good" for the people of Odisha. The Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Divyasingha Deb, the titular king of Puri and the 'karta' of the temple, acknowledged that significant work had been accomplished for the 12th-century shrine after 700 years, further emphasizing the historical importance of the project.
(With Agency Inputs)