What UP budget has for places of religious significance

The budget has set aside Rs 1,750 crore for the development of ‘dharmarthmargs’

yogi-up-budget-pti Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with state Finance Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna before the presentation of the State Budget 2024-25 in Assembly, in Lucknow | PTI

Uttar Pradesh’s budget, pegged at Rs 7,36,437.71 crore has special provisions for Ayodhya, Varanasi and other places of religious significance.

Presenting the budget in the House today, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that ‘Ram Rajya’ had been achieved in the state by providing a crime- and fear-free environment to the people of the state.

For Ayodhya, a provision of Rs 150 crore has been made for the expansion of the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham. This is above the Rs 100 crore which has been earmarked for Ayodhya’s all-round development. In addition, Ayodhya, like Varanasi, will be developed into a model solar city.

Other cities of religious significance for which special announcements have been made include Mathura, for which Rs 23 crore has been proposed for the construction of a new dairy plant of 30,000 litre per day capacity. This will be expanded to one lakh litres per day later.

Varanasi will get Rs 150 crore for purchasing land for the establishment of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). A provision of Rs 400 crore has been made for the establishment of a medical college in the district.

The budget has set aside Rs 1,750 crore for the development of ‘dharmarthmargs’ (religious paths).

In tourism, too, there is a focus on religious sites. The budget document states that after the expansion/beautification of the road from Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to Ganga, the number of devotees visiting the temple has increased four to five times. In anticipation of a potential rise in the number of tourists and devotees with the construction of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, widening/beautification of three access roads and development of parking and public facilities is being carried out at six places.

More religious tourists will be attracted to Vindyanchal as well. In the ‘Trikon’ (triangle, where every angle has a holy spot) area of Vindhyachal in Mirzapur district, work is underway to upgrade the ‘Parikrama Marg’ and public facilities falling in the triangular alignment connecting Maa Vindhyavasini Temple, Maa Ashtabhuja Temple and the Maa Kalikhoh Temple.

For the Mahakumbh of 2025, a budgetary provision of Rs 100 crore is proposed.

Other investments in places of religious significance include Rs 14.68 crore is proposed for the establishment of Nishad Raj Guha Sanskritik Kendra, Shringverpur; Rs 10.53 crore for the establishment of Maharishi Valmiki Cultural Centre, Chitrakoot; and Rs 10 crore for the International Ramayana and Vedic Research Institute in Ayodhya.

Tourism development and beautification works shall also be concentrated in areas of religious significance including Prayagraj, Naimisharanya, Gorakhpur, Mathura, Bateshwar Dham, Garhmukteshwar, Shuktirtha Dham, Maa Shakumbhari Devi and Sarnath, among others.

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