The opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh has claimed the scheme for the development and extension of the famous Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain was made during the Kamal Nath-led party government in 2019, but the ruling BJP has dismissed the claim. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday evening dedicate to the nation the first phase of the ‘Shri Mahakal Lok’ corridor in Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh.
The project is aimed at providing an enriching experience to pilgrims visiting the famous Mahakeleshwar Temple with world class modern amenities. Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Dr Govind Singh on Monday claimed the scheme for the development and extension of the Mahakal temple was framed during the Kamal Nath regime in August 2019.
The details of the project worth Rs 300 crore were put before the temple priests and the then cabinet members and a committee of three senior ministers was also constituted for its implementation, he said.
However, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra dismissed the Congress’s claims and alleged that Nath had the habit of lying. “He should have at least spared Lord Bholenath from this," Mishra told reporters on Tuesday.
The proposal for the Mahakal temple development was prepared in 2017 and its detailed project report (DPR) was ready in a period of one year when Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the chief minister, he said. In 2018, tenders were floated for it when Chouhan) was the CM, Mishra said.
During their (Congress) regime, it was put on the backburner and it was revived again when Chouhan came back to power in 2020 with a total project cost of Rs 856 crore. Rs 351 crore was earmarked for the first phase while Rs 310 crore is kept for the second phase," Mishra said. Meanwhile, the grand event to be held on Tuesday evening will be telecast live in 40 countries, according to state BJP chief V D Sharma.
Sharma said CM Chouhan and he had also held a meeting with the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from these countries. The more than 900-metre-long ‘Mahakal Lok’ corridor, built as one of the largest such corridors in the country, spreads around the old Rudrasagar Lake which has also been revived as part of the redevelopment project around the famous Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country which attracts a large number of devotees, an official earlier said.
Two majestic gateways — Nandi Dwar and Pinaki Dwar — separated by a short distance, have been erected near the starting point of the corridor, which winds its way to the temple’s entrance and offers an aesthetic view along the way, he said.
A colonnade of 108 ornate pillars made of intricately carved sandstones, gushing fountains and a running panel of more than 50 murals depicting stories from the ‘Shiv Puran’ are among the major highlights of the Mahakal Lok, the official said.
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