Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 29
Finance Minister of Uttar Pradesh Rajesh Agarwal announced that the government had spent Rs 4,300 crore on the preparations for Kumbh Mela starting next year at Prayagraj from January 15 to March 4, at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Saturday. The CII is the national partner to the Government of Uttar Pradesh for Kumbh Mela 2019.
Inviting the people of Haryana and the tricity to Kumbh, Agarwal said: “The event is organised at four places in the country. At Prayagraj, it might receive a footfall of over 10 crore people.”
Lauding the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he shared that UNESCO had included Kumbh in the list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.
“I also met Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar today and will be speaking with the Railway Minister for direct rail connectivity from Chandigarh and Ambala to the mela,” he said.
“Over 5,000 NRIs will visit the Kumbh, along with people from over 6 lakh villages,” he shared.
He said: “The Centre has given Rs 1,200 crore for the mela and the state government has also come up with stable development projects, under which works of basic infrastructural facilities like roads, bridges, drinking water schemes electricity improvement and tourism have been done.”
The state government with cooperation extended by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, will give an opportunity to the devotees at Kumbh for the first time in the last 450 years to pray at “Akshay Vat” and “Sarasvati Koop”. The state government has already launched a new logo of Prayagraj Kumbh - 2019.
Kumbh is organised at Prayagraj every six years and Magh Mela every year. To ensure continuity of developmental process, the state government has constituted the Prayagraj Mela Authority. Under Kumbh-related works, 671 people welfare projects had been completed during the last one and a half years. The Government of India has increased the number of flights by constructing a new air civil terminal in Prayagraj, which connects the city to Bengaluru, Indore, Nagpur, and Patna through air routes. A heliport is also being set up here to facilitate helicopter joy ride for tourists.
The Kumbh Mela area has been brought under the surveillance of the Integrated Control and Command Centre. About 1,000 CCTV cameras have been installed.
Agarwal said: “For smooth traffic movement, the state government has constructed nine flyovers in one and a half years. The Bridge Corporation has created a record by constructing a 4-lane 1,325-metre-long flyover in front of the High Court in the Prayagraj city area within 14 months. Similarly, another record has been created by completing a 1-km-long ROB at the height of 16 metres at Rambag in a year’s time. In the densely populated areas of the city, six railway underpasses have been widened to 4-lane within a year.”
The state government has set up a new city in the huge mela area, which has 250-km-long roads and 22 pontoon bridges. It will be the largest temporary city of the world. Keeping in view the arrival of devotees in a large number, availability of electricity has been made more effective by streamlining energy infrastructure in Prayagraj. For the first time, the mela area is being brightened up by installing over 40,000 LED lights. To ensure that the banks of the Ganga and the Triveni remain clean and the Ganges remains pollution free, the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Namami Gange project are being executed in Prayagraj. So far, 32 nullahs (drains) opening in the Ganga have been sealed. A Ganga ‘pandal’, with a capacity of 10,000 persons, ‘pravachan pandal’ with a capacity of 1,000 and 4 cultural pavilions have been set up at Kumbh where cultural programmes will be staged continuously. As many as 1, 22,000 toilets have been constructed.
Rajesh calls on Haryana Chief Minister
Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal called on Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at his residence here on Saturday and invited him, on behalf of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, for Kumbh Mela. Khattar congratulated the Uttar Pradesh Government and people of UP for the Kumbh.
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