In an effort to push the Maitreya project in Kushinagar district,which will have a grand,500-feet-high bronze-plated statue of the Maitreya Buddha as its centrepiece,the state government has decided to offer land owners higher compensation maybe at the same rate it later gave for the land for the proposed international airport in the vicinity.
The district administration has been asked to initiate a dialogue with the farmers and compile a list of those ready to part with their land for the project.
The project is important for the government as it is expected to attract tourist traffic and quell all doubts about the viability of the international airport in Kushinagar,which is proposed just two km from the site of the Maitreya project.
The project was promoted by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition,headed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche,which is headquartered at Portland in USA. It was conceived in 2003 and Kushinagar,where Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon,was selected. The project is managed by the Maitreya Project Trust.
The 500-feet-high statue will actually be a skyscraper housing a monastery,a library and other facilities.
The adjoining area will be beautified and developed to provide education and healthcare facilities for the local population. It was estimated to cost $195 million.
Initially,the state government had earmarked about 660 acres of land for the project,but after discussions with the farmers,it came out that only about 260 acres of land will actually be available. However,the grand project was stalled as a large number of farmers refused to part with their land at the rate of Rs 300 per square metre offered by the government.
The previous Mayawati government had refused to accept the demand. The SP government,however,is willing to pay higher compensation. Sources in the government said that most farmers had indicated that they wanted compensation at Rs 940 per square metre,which was later paid for the land acquired for the airport project.
There will be no forceful acquisition. We have started discussions with the farmers and a large number of them have agreed to part with their land. The outcome of these meetings will be placed before the committee headed by the Commissioner of Gorakhpur to decide the final rate of compensation, said Rigzian Sampheal,District Magistrate of Kushinagar.
Promoted by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition,which is headquartered at Portland in USA and headed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Conceived in 2003; Kushinagar,where Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon,was selected for it.
Maitreya Budhha,its centrepiece,will be a 500-feet-high statue housing a monastery,a library and other facilities.
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