Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], January 1 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposing an international airport at the holy city of Puri in the state.
"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 proposed airport and will proactively support all the activities required for establishing the airport in a record time. I request that the Ministry of Civil Aviation may be asked to take up this airport as a priority project," the CM wrote in his letter.
Regarding the importance of Puri in the Hindu religion, Patnaik further said, "The holy city of Puri, abode of Lord Jagannath, is among the Char Dhams of Hindu Dharma. 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 kms away from Puri and along with the adjacent Ramachandi-Chandrabhaga beaches provide a unique experience to national and international tourists," Patnaik added.
In his letter, the Odisha CM also observed that Puri is connected to two Ramsar sites -- Chilka Lake and Bhitarkanika National Park -- both of which have huge potential for international eco-tourism.
"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 the 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" he said in his letter
Most of the historic Buddhist Heritage sites like Dhauli, Ratnagiri among others, with travel time within three hours from Puri, attract Buddhist Pilgrims from across the world.
The CM, in his letter to the prime minister, tried to highlight on Puri's popular Rath Yatra that attracts lakhs of pilgrims and visitors from across the world.
"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," he added. (ANI)