Sambalpur, 17/2(AO Bureau): The mother of millions of Odias and the center of faith and trust, Maa Samaleswari Temple in Sambalpur, is the holy shrine of the mother. Thousands of devotees from across the state and beyond come to visit the mother every day. Devotees gather at Mother’s Peetha on Navratri, Dashahara, Nuakhai, and important festivals.
The state government has come up with a plan to develop the temple area of Maa Samalei, one of the most famous Devi Peetha s in the state, after the Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri and the Sri Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar. A letter from the Department of Public Works was submitted to Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik today.
The state government is planning to launch the Samaleswari Temple Area Management & Local Economy Initiatives (SAMALEI) scheme for the development of the 16th-century Ma Samaleswari Peetha. In the financial year 2021-22, Rs 200 crore will be spent on the development of 108 acres of land in and around Samaleswari. The project will work to beautify the Mother Temple, the economic development of the locals, and a unique experience for tourists and devotees.
1. Protection and development of the Mother Temple
The area of the Mother Temple is located on 12 acres of land. So for the convenience of the devotees coming here, queue management arrangements, Bhogmandap, and restrooms of the priests will be built along with space for various religious institutions.
Eight beautiful gates will be built around the temple. Devotees will enter the temple through the east gate and exit through the other three gates.
Emergency facilities will be developed for the temple office, the Interpretation Center and the public near the main entrance to the temple.
The Gopalji Math near the temple will be preserved and its development will be integrated with the original plan.
2. Heritage Corridor
A 1-kilometer walk will be built around the temple so that devotees can easily walk around.
In view of the climate of Sambalpur, shady trees will be planted along the perimeter.
3. Passenger facilities –
Adequate facilities will be developed there for the passengers and will also include parking space, special Vending zone, toilets, information center, donation center and so on.
There will also be passenger accommodation near the temple.
୪. Housing for service families
A secure housing project will be set up for the services near the temple and all basic amenities will be developed.
Roads connecting the temple and the river
A 30-meter-wide sidewalk will also be developed so that devotees can visit the Mahanadi Ghat from the temple.
୬. Mahanadi Alati
A 30-meter-high deck will be built in the middle of the above walkway, from which both the Mahanadi and the Mother Temple will be clearly visible.
Every day there will be a unique spiritual experience for the Mahanadi Alati devotees.
୭. Ring Road Development
The current ring road will be widened and will have a special walk and leisure facilities along the river.
୮. Riverfront development
The riverfront will be developed in a planned manner and a platform will be set up so that people can follow their traditions and customs at ease.
In addition, the Pavilion, Plaza, and Deck will be built for tourists to enjoy the view of the river. Like the old days, the temple will be clear from the river.
୯. Lakeshore development
The project will develop a 22-acre lakeshore. 5 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant will be constructed with the development of wetland. The Wetland area will be rehabilitated and beautified. There will also be food parks, an architecture park, and an open-air theater for the convenience of tourists. Vending arrangements will be made for the sale of souvenirs from Sambalpur, including famous handlooms and handicrafts.
10. Improvement of railway roads
The road from the railway station to the north side of the temple will be widened. So that the traffic problem can be eliminated.
11. Reconstruction of the ashes –
The existing cemetery will be relocated to the east and modern facilities will be developed here. The cemetery is connected to the river by a 9-meter walk, so people can easily go to the riverbank to observe the traditions and customs.
Funeral services, shrines, and restrooms will be arranged near the cemetery.
As a result of the new plan, a generous humanitarian and rehabilitation package is being developed for the affected people.
It will include a package for households on government land, slums on government land, other housing on government land, shop houses on government land, and vendors on government land.
Assistance will also be provided to clubs, religious institutions, government offices and institutions on government land.
The letter can be made available to the public through [email protected] by March 15.
The Chief Minister sought the cooperation of all for the successful implementation of the Samlai project.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Administrative Secretary, the Chief Administrative Secretary of various departments, including the Chief Administrative Secretary, the Development Commissioner. Chief Minister’s Secretary (5T) Shri V.K. Pandian coordinated the program.