Acting within days of an announcement by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Centre invited bids on Saturday to build a 2-km-long ropeway to the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain at the cost of Rs 210 crore.
This comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the mega ‘Mahakal Corridor’ project in Ujjain on October 11, which is built on the lines of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project in Varanasi. Like Kashi Vishwanath, the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain is a ‘Jyotirling’ and a much-revered temple of Lord Shiva.
In August, chief minister Chouhan announced that a ropeway will be built from the Ujjain Railway Station to the Mahakaleshwar Temple for the convenience of pilgrims. On Saturday, a department under Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (National Highway Logistics Management Limited) invited tenders for the project, aiming for its completion within the next 18 months.
The project is expected to help elders and physically challenged people who come to the temple, the chief minister had earlier said. Chouhan had requested Gadkari for the project and the nod came through soon.
The Mahakal corridor, meanwhile, has been designed on the concept of ‘Shiv Leela’, with statues depicting the tales of Lord Shiva. The area of the Mahakaleshwar temple premises is being increased to nearly 50 hectares as part of the expansion project, with more entrances being built to decongest the temple. The ropeway project will enable pilgrims to arrive directly at the temple premises from the Ujjain Railway station in a few minutes.