The Yogi Adityanath government plans to build a “grand statue” of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya as part of its plan to showcase “Navya Ayodhya.” The proposal was presented to Governor Ram Naik as part of the state tourism department’s initiatives to promote religious tourism.
The government’s slideshow put the height of the statute at 100 m but some officials said that wasn’t final.
According to a press communique released from Raj Bhavan, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Awanish Kumar Awasthi made the presentation.
The presentation also included information on programmes scheduled for Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya on October 18. Governor Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma will be present on the occasion.
The communique stated that the statue will be build at Saryughat after clearance from the National Green Tribunal.
When asked about the statue, Awasthi told The Indian Express that this was a “concept proposal” and the letter to NGT seeking clearance was yet to be sent.
Also part of the plan is a Ram Katha gallery on the banks of the river, a multi-purpose auditorium in the Digambar Akhara premises and various public utility services. For this integrated development of Ayodhya, the state government had sent a detailed project report (DPR) of Rs 195.89 crore to the Tourism Ministry at the Centre and the Ministry has so far provided Rs 133.70 crore to the state.
Also on the programme list for October 18 are: a Deepotsav programme where 1.71 lakh earthen lamps will be lit at Ram ki Paidi, about 2 km from the disputed site; a heritage walk through Ayodhya; a Shobha Yatra to showcase the arrival of Lord Ram to Ayodhya and a symbolic “rajyabhishek” (coronation).
Later, Governor and the CM are scheduled to lay the foundation stone of various projects for development in Ayodhya. Both will also perform “aarti” at a new ghat of the Saryu river. Artists from Indonesia and Thailand will also stage the Ram Leela there.