Cuttack: As the holy month of Kartik ended with the colourful ritual of Boita Bandana on Saturday morning, the annual historic festival of Baliyatra began on the banks of river Mahanadi here at Gadagadia Ghat in the evening. T
The weeklong fair will continue till November 10, but enthusiasts here are hopeful that the local administration will allow the festival to continue for another two days till next weekend.
Health and Law Minister Pratap Jena along with Culture Minister Ashok Panda and Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera inaugurated the grand festival in the presence of city mayor Meenakshi Behera. Several MPs and MLAs of the district and neighbouring districts were also present at the inaugural ceremony, which was presided over by district Collector Sushanta Mohapatra.
After getting the nod from the National Green Tribunal for the second time this year, the local administration is staging the festival over an area of 30 acres on the riverbank. “We will ensure that the festival would in no way pollute or block the free flow of river water,” said Cuttack Municipal Corporation Commissioner Bikash Mohapatra.