In a bid to woo more tourists, Odisha Government has sanctioned funds for the development of the hilltop of Budharaja Reserve Forest, which is located in the heart of Sambalpur city.
“An amount of Rs 1 crore has been sanctioned for this purpose. The developmental works will be undertaken on the 0.99 hectare of land on the hilltop of the reserve forest,” said District Tourist Officer, Rabindra Kumar Dalei.
Steps would be taken to develop watch tower, public convenience centre, parking space, musical fountain, sitting arrangement, kiosks and other tourist amenities at hilltop of Budharaja reserve forest with the fund.
State’s Roads and Buildings Department would carry out the work, said Dalei.
The land on the hilltop, which belonged to the forest department, has been converted into non-forest land to undertake the developmental work, according to Range Officer of Sambalpur town forest range, Uttam Gadnayak.
Budharaja Reserve Forest, spread over 63 hectare area, is a major tourist attraction in the city. The famous Budharaja temple located atop the hill, attracts thousands of the tourists and devotees from across the state. Moreover, the motorable road to the top from where one can get a view of the city is also another attraction of the place.
On completion of developmental works, the site is expected to record increase in footfall of tourists.
Meanwhile, work on a walking track around Budharaja Reserve Forest and protection wall surrounding the forest is also in progress. Odisha Environmental Management Fund (OEMF), under the Forest and Environment Department, has sanctioned Rs 3 crore for these works, sources said.