To ensure a smooth conduct of Lord Jagannath's Nabakalebara festival in July 2015, Odisha government on Saturday set up the Nabakalebara Infrastructure Supervision Committee (NISC) headed by Puri MLA and former Law minister Maheswar Mohanty.
While Mohanty will head the committee as chairman, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), central division, will be co-chairman. District Collector of Puri is the member secretary of the committee while district level officers of other departments have been made members of the committee.
"The chairman of the committee will be accorded the status of a Cabinet Minister," a notification issued by the General Administration Department today said.
Nabakalebara is an important festival of the 12th century shrine at Puri as the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are to be replaced with a new set of idols. The previous ceremony was held in 1996
The Committee will supervise and co-ordinate various infrastructure projects worth above Rs 1,000 crore related to Nabakalebara festival, 2015, the notification said.\
The Nabakalebara festival of the Lord Jagannath scheduled to be held in July next year, is being held after a gap of 19 years.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already sought special Central assistance of Rs 1,397 crore for the Nabakalebara festival.
The state government is making elaborate arrangements for the momentous occasion which is expected to witness congregation of over five million pilgrims and tourists in Puri.
The funds from the Government of India are needed for development works to be taken up for the festival, Patnaik in a letter to the Planning Commission had said.