By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun 6 May, 2021: The Oil and Gas PSUs, including Indian Oil, ONGC, HPCL, BPCL and GAIL, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust (SBUCT) on Thursday for redevelopment and beautification of the Badrinath Dham as a ‘Spiritual Smart Hill Town’.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, Union Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, and other senior officials.
The MoU was signed by Secretary, Tourism, Dilip Jawalkar on behalf of Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust and Secretary Tarun Kapoor on behalf of the Petroleum Ministry.
As per the signed agreement, the Oil and Gas PSUs will contribute nearly Rs 100 Crore for development activities in Badrinath. This will include building all-terrain vehicular paths, river embankment work, bridges, beautifying existing bridges, establishing gurukul facilities with accommodation, creating toilet and drinking water facilities, installing streetlights, etc.
On the occasion, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said, “The combined efforts of Uttarakhand Government and Oil & Gas PSUs will help speed up the work at Badrinath Dham, resulting in its early completion.”
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Char Dham is close to millions of Indians due to spiritual, religious and cultural reasons. Signing this MOU is a significant milestone in the direction of PM Narendra Modi’s vision of developing Shri Badrinath shrine as a smart and spiritual town, without compromising on the religious sanctity and mythological importance of the region.”
He added that the development of sites like Badrinath would also help attract more tourists, which in turn would strengthen the economy of the state.
Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj added, “The government is committed to providing better and more comfortable facilities to the devotees who visit Char Dham every year. It is a means of employment and livelihood for millions of people, which is why we are developing homestays in the state that will result in giving affordable facilities to pilgrims and employment in rural areas. Special focus will be given to saving the environment amid the reconstruction of Badrinath Dham.” Secretary, Tourism, Dilip Jawalkar disclosed that the expansion of hospitals is proposed in the first phase of the MoU along with riverfront development, strengthening of embarkments, etc.
Chief Secretary Omprakash, GMVN General Manager Jitendra Kumar and other officials were also present on the occasion.