By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 10 Jun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today conducted a review of the Kedarnath Dham development and reconstruction project with the Uttarakhand State Government via video conferencing.
Laying out his vision for the reconstruction of the shrine, the Prime Minister said that the State Government should envision and design development projects for holy sites like Kedarnath and Badrinath in a way and manner that stands the test of time and is yet eco-friendly and in harmony with nature and its surroundings.
Keeping in mind the present situation and comparatively lean pressure in terms of tourists and pilgrims to the holy sites, the Prime Minister suggested that the present construction season could be utilised for completing pending works by proper distribution of labour pools, keeping in mind the norms of social distancing. This would help to create facilities and infrastructure to better sustain tourism flows in the years to come.
As part of specific suggestions, Prime Minister also gave directions for further development of other heritage and religious spots in the stretch extending from Ramban to Kedarnath. This work will be in addition to the re-development of the main shrine in Kedarnath.
The meeting also saw detailed discussions on topics related to status of development of Brahma Kamal Vatika and museum to greet pilgrims en-route to Vasuki Taal, re-development of old town quarters and properties of historical significance keeping intact their original architectural façade as well as other facilities like eco-friendly parking spaces at a proper distance from the shrine and at regular intervals.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and other senior officials also participated in the discussions.
Chief Minister Rawat asked the PM for Rs 200 crores to complete the ongoing works in Kedarnath. He informed the PM that the people of the state had been given limited permission to visit Badrinath and Kedarnath. A maximum of 800 people could visit while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh gave a briefing on the work being done at Kedarnath. He disclosed that the renovation of Adiguru Shankracharya’s ‘Samadhi’ would be completed by 31 December. Work on the Saraswati Ghat was nearing completion and expected to be over by 30 June. The bridge on the Bhairav Mandir road had been constructed before time. Five blocks were being constructed as housing for Teerth Purohits. Two had been constructed, while the rest would be ready by September. Three meditation caves were being built and would be ready by September. The bridge on River Mandakini would be complete by 31 March, 2021. A project was being prepared on constructing an open air museum at Kedarnath.
Also present were Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash and Secretary, Tourism, Dilip Jawalkar.