Ranchi, Jun 10 (PTI) Ahead of the famous Shravani Mela at Deoghar, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has urged Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for widening important highway stretches in the state, particularly from Basukinath to Dumka.
The religious fair at Deogarh is scheduled to be held this year after a gap of two years in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During this pilgrimage which continues for 30 days during ‘Shravan’ (mid-July to mid-August) devotees in large numbers throng the Baba Baidyanath Temple to offer holy water from the Ganges to Lord Shiva. "I take this opportunity to apprise you that Deoghar, also known as Baidyanath Dham, is an important pilgrimage place in Jharkhand... It is one of the biggest and longest religious congregations in the country.
“...As the work of four-laning of the stretch between Deoghar to Basukinath by NHAI is under progress, this is to request you that the road from Basukinath to Dumka may also be developed to a four-lane road corridor instead of 2 lanes as sanctioned," Soren mentioned in a letter to Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari on Thursday.
The Ganges flows in Sultanganj and it is from this place that devotees collect water in their ‘kanwars’ (pots) and trek 109 km carrying the holy water up to Baba Baidyanath Temple, considered one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’.
‘Jyotirlingas’ have a long religious history which have also been mentioned in the Puranas.
According to district administration officials, an estimated 55 lakh pilgrims visit Baba Baidyanath Temple on the occasion.
Terming good roads as one of the pre-requisites for smooth and uninterrupted flow of a large number of people, Soren said the state government has undertaken repair of all roads of Deoghar and adjoining areas for unhindered movement of devotees during the Shravani Mela as devotees move barefoot during this occasion.
"From Deoghar, devotees move to Basukinath Temple, which is at a distance of 40 km. These two places are connected by NH 114A which at present is in a very very bad shape," the letter read.
Funds for widening the portion between Tower Chowk, Dumka to Basukinath on NH-114A to 2-lane had been sanctioned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in November 2020 at a cost of Rs 148.24 crore and the work was awarded to a contractor in November 2021.
However, the work was terminated in March 2022 as the contractor could not mobilise resources and due to lack of upkeep, the road condition has deteriorated from bad to worse, the CM said.
Because of the Shravani Mela, the state was left with no choice but to get the required repair work done with its own fund, Soren said.
"Considering your keen interest and support for development of road infrastructure in Jharkhand and easing the flow of traffic from Ranchi to Deoghar, I would request you to get the stretch from Dumri (on NH-2) to Deoghar be developed to a four-lane one,” the letter read. PTI NAM MM MM
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