The Odisha government has planned to transform the State's iconic dams, reservoirs and water bodies into tourist attractions and buzzing recreational spaces. The state government has decided to give their periphery a comprehensive makeover by beautification, replete with landscaping, setting up amusement avenues and infotainment zones, and other boating and camping facilities.
Implementation In Phased-Manner
The Water Resources Department has developed a new scheme, 'Periphery Development of Reservoirs and Water Bodies', with an outlay of Rs 50 crore for three years.
Odisha has 163 large dams, and the transformation will begin in a phased manner. Initially, the periphery areas of 18 dams and reservoirs will be developed, with the department spending Rs 5 crore this year, Rs 27 crore in the next year (2023) and Rs 18 crore in 2024.
Transformation Under The Scheme
Under the new scheme 'Periphery Development of Reservoirs and Water Bodies', the areas adjacent to the water bodies will be transformed into recreational spaces and picnic spots. Along with that museum-cum-activity centres and interpretation centres will also be set up in the nearby areas of water bodies.
Anu Garg, Additional Chief Secretary of the Water Resources Department, informed that the areas near dams would be developed as learning and infotainment zones with recreational spaces, including facilities such as boating and camping.
She said, "The large dams in the State are engineering marvels. Once the periphery areas are developed with museums, interpretation centres having regular audio-visual shows and guided tours, those can be used as places of learning apart from the pleasure trips," quoted The New Indian Express.
Committee To Monitor The Development
A district-level periphery development of reservoirs and water bodies committee will be formed to monitor development work. The committee will be chaired by the Collector in the districts where the work will be taken up.
The committee will determine the dams to be undertaken in the respective districts. In the first phase, the dams with decent road connectivity and more footfalls will be taken up for development under the scheme.
Odisha has a considerable number of major, medium reservoirs and iconic dams. The adjacent area of these water bodies has always garnered tourist attractions because of the panoramic naturalistic view and scope for recreation.
After developing these areas, some crucial spots of tourist importance will be handed over to the Tourism department for further development, including multiplication of extra amusement themes and maintenance.