Odisha will get a central assistance of Rs 76.5 crore for development of its coastal circuit under “Swadesh Darshan” scheme, said an official on Friday.
The coastal circuit comprises Gopalpur, Tampara, Barakul, and Satapada. Odisha has a 480-km coast line. The Centre has released about Rs 15.3 crore as the first instalment for the purpose.
Infrastructure growth and beach development will be the priority on circuit tourism in the state, said state Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda.
Panda said that although Odisha was included in Swadesh Darshan scheme, till date no project was approved. However, the demand of state government has been considered recently for tourism development in the places which will be a major boost for state tourism.
Roads, water sports, jetty, water park, solar street lighting and floating restaurants will be developed, the minister added.
Sand art and the maritime museum will come up at Gopalpur while implementation of solid waste management and sewerage treatment plant has been mooted.
Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has been entrusted with implementation of the project.
Notably, the state government has planned to develop Talsari beach in Balasore with Udayapur-Talasari-Chandaneswar-Bichirtapur-Bhusandeswar tourist circuit.
With the number of foreign tourists to Odisha declining, the state government expects that the development of beaches as tourist hubs would increase the inflow of visitors to the state.
Odisha’s share in the total number of foreign tourists visiting India was only 0.83 per cent in 2015 and 0.93 per cent in 2014.
In 2015, 80,27,133 foreign tourists visited India, but only 66,971 of them came to Odisha.