How many of you remember the construction of Kashi Vishwanath Corridor? Although the project was grand and was aimed at restoring cultural heritage, it faced a lot of backlashes during the construction period. Despite the fact that the corridor, 56 metres wide and 300 metres long is being constructed to establish a direct link from the temple to the river Ganga, an intense protest was witnessed at the time of the announcement of the project. But the project was long-awaited as more than five lakh devotees visit the temple every year. The footfall increases during the Shravan month. The pilgrims had to face complications due to the crumbling infrastructure of the holy city. The case of Vrindavan is no different.
The crumbling infra of Vrindavan
Those who have visited the holy city of Vrindavan would agree that the city needs a revamp, while protecting all the historic importance the city holds. As tourists and pilgrims enter the city they are welcomed by dust and traffic jams.
One of the oldest and most revered temples of Vrindavan, Shri Banke Bihari Mandir has a similar story to tell. A narrow lane that leads to the temple is jam-packed, enhancing the risk of trample toes and picked pockets.
The central as well as the state government are working on a war footing to improve the state of the religious town. The proposal to build state-of-the-art Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Marg worth Rs 9000 crore in Braj region of the state has been approved. The NHAI has also approved building a Mathura-Vrindavan bypass road at an estimated cost of Rs 6,100 crore. With this, the state government has also announced the Banke Bihari Corridor.
Banke Bihari Corridor announced
Following the grand Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor in Varanasi, now the Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Government along with centre’s go-ahead is focusing on the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, where the construction of corridor has been proposed. Similar to the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, the Banke Bihari Corridor would provide easy transit to devotees from the Yamuna riverfront to the iconic Banke Bihari Temple and could accommodate 5,000 devotees at a time. The corridor is supposed to be built on 5 acres of land around the temple, for which the survey is on-going. However, since the day of announcement, the project is facing strong resentment by the locals.
The ongoing protests are baseless
The local residents of the region, whose livelihood is dependent on the mandir, fear displacement and loss of livelihood and hence are opposing the project. The protesting residents say they will be displaced, and their daily lives disrupted by the proposed project. Priests and shopkeepers are writing letters to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath requesting him to shelve the project. While the matter is in the court, the Yogi government has planned the corridor in such a way that it is a win-win situation for all.
With the new construction, the sanctum sanctorum would accommodate 5000 devotees, that can presently only accommodate 800.
The corridor is supposed to be two storeyed and both these storeys would have amenities such as shoe stands, luggage stands, drinking water, bathrooms, medical, and infant care facilities. VIP rooms and waiting rooms will also be constructed. The lower level will be larger than the top level. Thus, providing ample opportunities of livelihood.
The Yogi government has planned to relocate the shop owners. The shops would be demolished for now, and would be provided a dedicated space in the corridor. The government will also compensate the owners of 325 properties that would need to be acquired by the state for the projected Banke Bihari temple corridor, the sum total compensation, for now sits at Rs 200 crore, as per reports.
Infrastructure development reduces chaos, increases safety and makes the destination a hub of tourism. The same theory is going to be implemented in the nagari of Krishna, thus rewarding the city with development as well more opportunities of livelihood.
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