AIMIM leader and MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi Sunday called on Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao with a request for funds to develop a temple in the old city of Hyderabad. The temple- Simhavahini Mahankali Temple, at Lal Darwaza, is a famous temple in the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad, where Bonalu festival is celebrated.
Bonalu has been a state festival in Telangana since 2014. Celebrated as a thanksgiving to mother earth, women prepare ‘bonam’ or ‘bhojanam’ of cooked rice with milk and jaggery in earthen pots adorned with neem leaves, turmeric, vermilion etc, and carry them to the temples as an offering to the goddess.
During his meeting with the CM, he reminded the latter that though Lal Darwaza Bonalu is famous all over the world, the temple could not be developed due to lack of space and in turn cause a lot of problems to the devotees.
హైదరాబాద్ పాతబస్తీలోని లాల్ దర్వాజలో ఉన్న సింహవాహిని మహంకాళి దేవాలయాన్ని అభివృద్ధి చేయాలని ఎంఐఎం శాసనసభా పక్ష నాయకడు, చాంద్రాయణ గుట్ట ఎమ్మెల్యే శ్రీ అక్బరుద్దీన్ ఓవైసీ సీఎం శ్రీ కేసీఆర్ ను కోరారు. ప్రగతి భవన్ లో ఆదివారం ముఖ్యమంత్రిని కలిసిన ఆయన ఈ మేరకు విజ్ఞాపన పత్రం అందచేశారు. pic.twitter.com/EyaORdJxUH
— Telangana CMO (@TelanganaCMO) February 9, 2020
In the memorandum, Akbaruddin said “Lal Darwaza Mahankali temple has more than a hundred years of history. During the Bonalu, lakhs of people offer prayers and Bonalu here. But the temple complex is situated in a 100 square yards area. Due to the narrow space, it is causing immense problems to lakhs of the devotees.”
According to him, there is a need to develop the temple. “Develop the temple and widen it at a cost of Rs 10 Crore. With the expansion of the temple, people in the vicinity may lose properties. Compensate them by providing 800 square yards of land at Fareed Market, which is under the GHMC. Consider widening and development of the temple as a top priority work. This will be useful to the devotees,” Akbaruddin requested the CM.
He also reminded the CM that he (KCR) had offered a Golden Bonum at the Mahankali Temple wishing for a Golden Telangana State.
Just over a km away from the Charminar, Lal Darwaza was one of the entrances to the city of Hyderabad. Post-1908 floods which killed hundreds of people, Nizam Mahboob Ali Khan Pasha had asked his men to offer prayers at all religious places. The Nizam later offered prayers at the temple and since then Bonalu is being celebrated.
Meanwhile, the Chandrayangutta MLA also requested the CM to sanction Rs 3 crore for the renovation and repairs to the Afzalgunj Masjid. Due to lack of repairs, several Muslims who offer prayers here face inconvenience.
A statement from the CMO said that the CM has “positively” responded to the requests made by Akbaruddin.
“The CM assured that funds for the Mahankali Temple and Afzalgunj Masjid would be released. The CM has instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to take the necessary measures for the development of these two places of worship.”
The CM is also said to have clear the air about metro rail works, which has not begun till now, in the Old City. Asking the chief secretary to arrange a meeting with officials concerned, the CM is learnt to have said that the government is committed to connecting the old city with the Metro Rail.
A five-time MLA from Chandrayangutta, Akbaruddin is also the floor leader of AIMIM in the state legislative assembly. The younger of the Owaisi brothers, Akbar is known for his feisty and emotionally-charged speeches, that his opponents call “divisive”.
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