Big boost to water & adventure sports
Sambalpur: The State Tourism Department will provide five jet-skis which will operate in the power channel of Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur district very soon, reports said.
While the state government had planned to organize an annual water festival in Hirakud Dam on the lines of the immensely popular ‘Jal Mahotsav’ in Madhya Pradesh, the initiative to introduce jet-skis was taken by the district administration to attract tourists and provide adventure sports facilities to the people.
The five jet-skis will reach Sambalpur shortly, said district collector Samarth Verma, adding, an operator will be employed to run them.
The tourists visiting the dam will get access to facilities like water sports, water adventure activities and tent stay in the reservoir, he said.
Like the Golden Triangle — Bhubaneswar-Konark-Puri — there is a huge potential for tourism in western and southern Odisha and the government is planning to focus on these regions now. Many developmental projects have been undertaken in Sambalpur recently and the city is soon to emerge as a major tourist hub of western Odisha.
Along with upgrading Hirakud Dam, the district administration has also taken up various projects and allotted land for educational institutes such as the second campus for the Gangadhar Meher University, the Odisha State Open University and the Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur.
The second bridge of Mahanadi is also on the verge of completion to connect the other side of the river. Land also has been allotted for the establishment of second battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) near power channel. A Water Park is also in the pipeline in the same area.
A team of experts led by Sabir Bux, the first jet-ski rider of the state, recently visited the power channel to study the ground situation. Bux, during his tour, visited the Deojharna waterfall and its reservoir situated near Jujomara. The state government has sanctioned Rs 94 lakh for the development of Deojharna as an eco-tourism spot.
The same jet-ski water amusement system has been provided in Chilika Lake and Ramchandi on Puri-Konark sea beach.