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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

For Delhi govt’s Diwali event, makeshift Ram Mandir made of thermocol, plywood; sound and lights show

On Tuesday, workers were busy completing a 60-feet tall and 110-feet wide structure meant to resemble the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Mostly made of thermocol and plywood, a puja will be held inside the structure on Diwali day. The structure will be dismantled after the event.

Written by Abhinaya Harigovind | New Delhi |
Updated: November 3, 2021 12:42:57 pm
The structure will be dismantled after the event. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

An orange-roofed, temporary temple is nearing completion at Thyagaraj Stadium, in time for the Delhi government’s Diwali celebrations this year.

On Tuesday, workers were busy completing a 60-feet tall and 110-feet wide structure meant to resemble the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Mostly made of thermocol and plywood, a puja will be held inside the structure on Diwali day. The structure will be dismantled after the event.

The ‘Dilli ki Diwali’ event, comprising the puja and light and dance shows in the evening, is being held for the Chief Minister, the Cabinet and their family members, and possibly the MLAs as well, officials said.

An elaborate light and sound system was being set up on Tuesday. LED lights will most likely be used to display scenes from the Ramayana as part of the event, while a dance show and bhajans are also in the offing. The public will not be permitted inside the stadium this year, owing to Covid restrictions. The event will, however, be telecast live.

Work has been underway at the site for about a week, with around 50 to 60 workers, according to officials who were at the venue on Tuesday. The Department of Tourism is in-charge of the event and the structure, and a private agency has been tasked with managing it, Delhi government sources said.

The private agency was also in charge of designing the structure, which is modelled around the design for the Ram Mandir. AAP leader Atishi, who was at the venue around noon on Tuesday, said it’s a Ram mandir since Diwali is inextricably linked to Lord Ram. “In the Hindu calendar, Diwali is a very important festival. This is a way to reach out to people and ask them not to burst crackers,” she said. Though people cannot come to the venue, the event will be telecast live to turn it into a “community celebration,” she added. Last year, a similar celebration was held at Akshardham, while one was held at Connaught Place in 2019.

At the stadium on Tuesday, Abrar Hussain was chipping away at pieces of thermocol to make the decorative arches that comprise parts of the structure. There are around 20 to 25 workers assembling these pieces of thermocol, he said. “It’s mostly thermocol, with a little bit of wood. We were given the design and were asked to follow it,” he said. They were nearly done and would be able to wrap up soon, he added.

Workers who were putting metal rods together to make a console for the sound and light system said that they had been working on the project since October 25. Others welded bits of metal or put together large banners. A private firm has also been placed in charge of the security arrangements, with around 25 personnel posted around the stadium since November 1.

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