A FRESH CONSIGNMENT of 18 blocks of sandstones for carving out structures of the proposed Ram temple reached Ayodhya in three trucks on Wednesday. Four blocks of stones in two trucks had arrived in the temple city a week ago. All these sandstone blocks have been kept at Ramsevakpuram of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. Ramsevakpuram is barely 500-metre from the VHP workshop, where carving of stones for the temple is going on since 1990.
VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said that ‘Ram bhakts’ have sent 2,000 cubic feet stones from Bharatpur in Rajasthan because Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas in June 2015 had appealed to them to donate stones instead of cash.
Sharma said that the Commercial Tax department in the previous Samajwadi Party regime had stopped allowing Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas to bring sandstones from Rajasthan, citing the “status quo” ordered by the Supreme Court at the disputed site.
“From June this year, the department has started giving form 39 that allows bringing of stones from other states. It is happening because the new government in the state is dedicated to lord Ram, cow and nation,” he said.
Sharma said that arrival of sandstones would continue in the future too.
According to VHP leaders, the previous state government did not give permission to bring stones from Rajasthan after two trucks laden with 35 tonnes of pink sandstones had arrived in Ayodhya in December 2015.
The carving of stones for the proposed temple is going on under the supervision of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, an organisation of VHP leaders and saints to promote and oversee the development of Ram temple.
Nyas members, in a meeting in Ayodhya in June 2015, had resolved to collect donations for the temple in form of stones instead of cash from ‘Ram bhakts’. It had also issued a nationwide appeal to devotees to donate stones for the temple.
VHP leaders said that around 1.75 lakh cubic feet of stones were required to build the temple as per its proposed design. Since 1990, around 1 lakh cubic feet of stones has been purchased. The plan is to build a 268-foot long, 140-foot wide and 128-foot high two-storey temple, topped by a shikhar (dome). Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas is headed by Nritya Gopal Das, one of the accused against whom charges were framed by a Lucknow CBI court in Babri masjid demolition case recently.