Bhubaneswar, Nov 11 (LocalWire): Balijatra, which showcases Odisha’s glorious maritime history and is a melting pot for cultural enthusiasts, vendors and lakhs of visitors, is set to kick off tomorrow.
The preparatory measures have reached its final leg as the week-long socio-cultural fete with the Cuttack administration leaving no stones unturned in making it different from the past years.
‘Balijatra will have a different touch and flavour this time and accordingly we have executed the plans,’ said Bhabani Shankar Chayani, Cuttack district Collector.
All line departments, from electricity to revenue, worked in tandem on a single platform to successfully organize the biggest trade and cultural congregation of the state, he said.
The number of participants this year is 1650 and much more than last year after the administration decided to allot land to traders and vendors and display it on public domain.
This time, 90% of land allottees are small traders and their space holding is less than 1000 sqft. Only 10% have space-holding beyond 1000 sq ft.
The administration has provided identity cards against each registration. With the introduction of identity card system, the genuine traders would no longer be harassed by middlemen and troublemakers as has been witnessed in the past.
To add further attraction to the Jatra, three new water-bodies have been created adjacent to the Balijatra ground. The renovated ponds would expand the set of choices for visitors and instill a natural ambience to the mega fair.
‘We have adopted mass-messaging tools which will enable to disseminate information regarding Balijatra to visitors. We are hopeful that this year’s Balijatra will be a perfect platform right from upcoming and budding cultural artist to small time vendors, the Collector added.