May 30, 2021 2:46:34 am
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the Maharashtra government’s in house go-to infrastructure development agency, on Saturday floated a tender for the work of conservation of old temples across the the state.
The public works department-controlled MSRDC’s tender invites proposals for conservation of eight temples in the first phase.
“Nearly 100 crore has been sanctioned for the purpose in the Budget. We have called for tenders and proposals have been sought for conservation of the temples. From the proposals received, we will select one. It will be examined by a committee of senior IAS officers,” said MSRDC Joint Managing Director Chandrakant Pulkundwar.
MSRDC Executive Engineer S S Jagtap said the plan included addition of amenities for devotees at these temples. The PWD, led by Congress’ Ashok Chavan, had issued a government resolution in December 30, 2020 for the project.
The temples on which work will be undertaken in the first phase are Dhootpapeshwar in Rajapur, Ratnagiri; Kopeshwar in Kolhapur; Ekvira temple in Lonavala; Gondeshwar in Nashik; Khandoba temple in Aurangabad; Bhagwan Purshottam temple in Beed; Anandeshwar at Daryapur in Amravati and Shiv temple in Gadchiroli. All are frequented by thousands of pilgrims as well as tourists in normal times.
A senior government official said that while some of the popular temples are well maintained, the lesser-known ones have to be preserved and hence, the MSRDC had been allocated funds.
Some of these temples are in the protected list of the state archaeology department. There is some disquiet in government that this department has been left out of the project, though the task of conservation requires a high degree of specialisation and is best left to experts. However, the senior official dismissed these concerns and said that MSRDC would hire conservation experts to oversee the work.
MSRDC was set up by then PWD minister Nitin Gadkari during the Shiv Sena-BJP regime of 1995. Its main task was to construct the Mumbai-Pune expressway and 55 flyovers in Mumbai. Of late, it has bagged many big ticket projects in the state, including the construction of the Sales Tax Bhavan at Wadala in Mumbai.
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