Bhubaneswar/Konark: Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M Veerappa Moily on Sunday said that the peripheral beautification project of the Sun Temple at Konark would be completed by February 2015. Attending the foundation stone laying ceremony of the project, Moily lauded the efforts initiated by Indian oil Foundation (IOF) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
“The project being executed by IOC and Culture Ministry will be commissioned by the end of February 2015,” Moily said. According to sources, IOF, a non-profit organisation of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the National Culture Fund of the Ministry of Culture, in 2001, had given a grant worth Rs 36 crore for the peripheral beautification of the Sun Temple. Since the area of the shrine had been encroached upon, it created trouble to carry out the project work.
Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Kumar Jena who was also present on the occasion, proposed the set up of an architecture school at Konark for which he assured the grant of Rs five core from his ministry. “Since there is no school in the name of Dharmapada, the legend boy who held a key role in completing the 13th century temple, I propose the set up of such school at Konark. This will certainly help students to learn architecture especially temple architecture,” Jena stated.
The union Minister urged the State Government to provide a land of 10 acre to facilitate the project. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik informed the gathering that during 2011-12 as many as 25 lakh tourists had visited the Sun Temple and the State Government has spent Rs five core in the last five years for the overall development of the shrine. “The Centre should also focus to develop other important monuments situated in the golden triangle of Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark,” Patnaik said.