Bhubaneswar, Apr 11 (PTI) Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today offered the Centre’s help to upgrade the state-run institute of stone sculpture at Konark into an institute of global standard.

In a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Pradhan urged the state government to extend cooperation to make the project successful.

Pradhan, who is also the Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister said, “An international standard skilling institute will not only help in upgrading the traditional skill sets of sculptors, but also help in keeping alive Odisha s ancient heritage by training the entrants in the profession.

The upgradation will also help in saving an exquisite cultural element of the state presented through intricate carvings on the stone, the union minister said.

The institute is located near the famous Sun Temple at Konark.

Noting that temples of Odisha are living testimony to the ancient cultural heritage of the state, the minister said, it is imperative on the part of the government to take all possible steps to keep alive this tradition.

The Petroleum Minister also said that the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has recently developed tourist facilities at the Sun Temple in Konark.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.