PM to announce over Rs14K cr investment in State during visit on Dec 24: Dharmendra

Bhubaneswar, Dec 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate or lay foundation stone for projects worth over Rs 14.5 crore, including projects in the sectors of education, national highways, culture and labour, during his visit to Odisha on December 24.

          Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday that the Prime Minister will dedicate the new IIT campus in Bhubaneswar, and lay the foundation stone for Indian Institute of Science and Research (IISER) in Berhampur among other activities during his visit.

          Claiming that the Centre has sanctioned a lot of development projects for the State, they said the Modi will also lay the foundation stone for Paradip-Hyderabad pipe line under the Urja Ganga scheme.

Union Minister Sharma said that the Prime Minister will release the commemorative coin and postage stamp in memory of Paika Rebellion in a function to be held in IIT Bhubaneswar campus.

He also said that the Union Government has decided to set up a chair in the memory of the Paika Rebellion  considered the First War of Independence in Utkal University at a cost of Rs. 5 crore.

The money will be released to the University as corpus fund to be kept in Escrow account.

Expenses of the chair will be met out of the interest earned on the corpus fund, he said.

The Union Culture Minister also informed that the Prime Minister will also be inaugurating the Archaeological Museum at Lalitgiri which will add a new facet to tourism in the region and increase the immense potential of employment generation.

Pradhan complimented the Ministry of Culture for recognising the Paika Rebellion at the national level.

The Union Minister said the Prime Minister will also address a public meeting during his day-long visit.

Briefing the media about the Museum to be inaugurated, DG ASI Usha Sharma said that in the larger public interest to boost tourism, as per policy of Site Museums, Archaeological Survey of India has constructed the Site Museum at Lalitgiri for display and protection of retrieved antiquities.

The museum building has been constructed through CPWD by incurring an expenditure of Rs.10 crores. The whole complex is spread across an area of 4750 sq. m. The museum has been organized into six galleries with display of antiquities, etc. at a cost of Rs.86 lacs.

Huge sculptures of the Buddha and various Buddhist deities, architectural fragments of Viharas and Chaityas are arranged period-wise across six galleries.

The most important finding of the Lalitgiri are relic caskets found inside the stupa during excavations in the year 1985. Three Khondalite stone caskets were found out of which two have one set of steatite, silver and gold caskets each with the relics inside in the form of charred bones, she said.

Lalitgiri is one of the earliest Buddhist settlements in Odisha situated about 120 km north of Bhubaneswar in District Cuttack

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