Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommending him to establish an international airport at Puri.
In his letter, Patnaik also proposed the airport at Puri to be named ‘Sri Jagannath International Airport’.
Patnaik has also requested the Prime Minister to direct Ministry of Civil Aviation to take up this airport as a ‘priority project’.
He also stated that the Odisha government will extend all possible assistance to the Centre for establishing the airport in a record time.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naveen said Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath, is among the Char Dhams (four spiritual seats) of Hindus who visit the Jagannath Temple in the town from all over the world, while Sun Temple at Konark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 35 kms from Puri and along with the adjacent Ramachandi-Chandrabhaga beaches provides a unique experience to national and international tourists.
The proposed airport will help bring Jagannath devotees from across the world to Puri.
“Puri is organically linked to two Ramsar Sites- Chilka Lake (India’s first Ramsar site and UNESCO World Heritage site) on one side and Bhitarkanika National Park on other side. Both these locations have huge potential for international eco-tourism. Puri beach has been recently transformed into a Blue Flag beach with world-class experience for the tourists. Most of the historic Buddhist Heritage sites like Dhauli, Ratnagiri, etc with travel time within three hours from Puri, attract Buddhist pilgrims from across the world,” Patnaik wrote.
“The coastal highway passes through this area and connects the Paradeep Port (114 km away) and the greenfield Astarang Port (60km away). 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,” he said.
The Rath Yatra of Puri is a world-famous annual event attracting lakhs of pilgrims and visitors from across the world.