Dr Mahesh Sharma said that Orissa is the soul of India and Government is making all efforts to promote the rich cultural heritage of the state as well as the country. The Minister also disclosed that a museum is being set up by theMinistry of Culture at Lalitgiri. The state will be benefitted by the two circuits ie Budhist Circuit and Coastal Circuit under the new scheme of Swadesh Darshan, he added. Puri will also be developed under the HRIDAY sheme of Ministry of Urban Development , the Minister explained. Dr Sharma said that Orissa will be projected on the international map through its campaigns.
The Brochure on PRASAD scheme was also released by the Minister.
Earlier, Dr Mahesh Sharma chaired the Plenary session of the International Conference on India and the Indian Ocean: Renewing the civilizational linkages in Bhubaneswar today. Addressing the Plenary, the Minister laid stress on developing, deepening and strengthening relations with the Indian Ocean Rim(IOR) countries, which have civilizational links with India. Prime Minister Shri Modis recent visit to Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka is the example of New governments initiative in this direction, the Minister said. Prime Minister has given more importance to promote ties with our IOR neighbours which will not only strengthen the security of our vast sea lanes in Indian Ocean but also secure our age-old cultural relations with them, Dr Mahesh Sharma explained.
The Minister said that the Center would be laying more focus on coastal circuit tourism. India has a long coastline of 7500 Km which possesses rich culture and heritage. If this can be harnessed along with beach tourism, culture and pilgrim tourism, all states particularly coastal states like Odisha will be benefited, Dr Sharma said. The three day international conference is being attended by the representatives of 20 countries situated in Indian Ocean Region.
The Tourism Minister also paid a visit to the Hotel Kalinga Ashok at Bhubaneswar today and conducted a round of inspection. He urged the hotel employees to change their work culture and make it delivery oriented especially in terms of quality of services.