No more beach shacks at Puri beaches, says Odisha government

No more beach shacks at Puri beaches, says Odisha government

The government in Odisha has dropped the plans of introducing Goa-like beach shacks at Puri beaches. The government’s decision was met with major opposition from several quarters including Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth and Swami Nischalananda Saraswati. Earlier, the government was planning to introduce beach shacks along the coast between Puri and Konark.

The announcement was made by Puri district magistrate-cum collector Samarth Verma. He informed that the state government has decided to drop the beach shack project now. The state government along with Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) had decided to open five beach shacks at Puri and Gopalpur beaches.

Verma said, “Puri is a heritage city and it has spiritual significance. We will try to develop it in that way only”. He also said that the government will not do anything that will negatively impact the heritage of the place.

On Friday, the state government along with Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and 50 different organisations opposed the plan of beach shacks where liquor will also be served.

The seer on Thursday said, “Shree Jagannath Dham in Puri is the seat of spiritual and religious soul-searching. Under no circumstances, liquor and other forms of alcoholic beverages should be allowed on Puri beach.” He further said that he has demanded the government to organise bhajan kirtan and aarti on the three-kilometre stretch on the Puri beach.

A number of women activists also raised concern and claimed that the beach shacks would instigate crime against women. As of now, beaches in Puri and Konark are now open for tourists.

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