Yogi Adityanath plans Lord Ram's grand statue in Ayodhya

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Varanasi, Oct 10 Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik today said grand celebrations are planned for Diwali in Ayodhya this time but was not aware of the plans of the Yogi Adiyanath government to install a statue of Lord Rama on the banks of Saryu river.

The 100-metre statue is expected to cost around Rs 195.89 crore.

The Ram statue is part of a plan submitted by the state tourism department to promote religious tourism in UP.

A government communique said that the statue will be built after securing permission from the National Green Tribunal.

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The Express reported that the slideshow made at the presentation put the height of the statue at a 100 metres but that "some officials said that wasn't final". Principal Secretary of Tourism Awanish Kumar Awasthi had made a presentation, the IE report says.

"On Diwali, a grand programme will be held in Ayodhya in which sadhu-saints will also participate".

The "Deeputsav" will be attended by Mr. Adityanath, Mr. Ram Naik, State Tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and several other leaders, apart from pilgrims and tourists. So far, the proposal has not been to NGT for approval.

While the Adityanath government's stated objective behind the installation of the grand Lord Ram statue may be to promote Ayodhya as a religious tourism destination, the obviously political motivations behind the move can not be discounted. The riots also helped the BJP gain national prominence.

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The State government said it had presented the Detailed Project Report of ₹195.89 crore to the Union Tourism Ministry for the integrated tourism development of Ayodhya.

A 30-minute laser show on Ram's journey from Ayodhya to Lanka at the Saryu ghat, also known as Naya ghat, will be the highlight.

During the programme, Ramlila will be staged by artists from Indonesia and Thailand.

Mr. Awasthi said the Tourism Department would also develop the Ram Katha Gallery, fix ghats, especially Guptar Ghat, where Lord Ram is believed to have taken a jal samadhi, develop a statue of Rani Ho, and install security features such as CCTVs.

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