Lucknow, June 19 (IANS) In a bid to boost religious tourism in the state, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal of setting up a Special Council for beautification and expansion of the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, officials said.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath gave its nod to the necessary ordinance, said state Health Minister and spokesman Siddharthanath Singh informed.
Noting that the temple, falling the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in the country, he said that a proposal was mooted by officials to conserve historical and religious heritage buildings and undertake beautification of areas around the temple, which draws millions every year.
Under this ordinance, it is proposed that the Gadhwaasi Told and Dashshmedh Ghat wards be expanded and notified.
Many private houses and buildings around the temple will also be removed and according to officials, as many as 166 plots and buildings will be acquired at an earmarked budget of Rs 413 crore.
In the current financial year, a budget of Rs 150 crore is being sanctioned for this work.
The Special Area Development Council has been set up for this purpose only, the minister added.
The cabinet also approved a new bus depot at Ayodhya which will be built at a cost of Rs 7 crore on a 1.384 hectare land which will be provided free to the Tourism Department. The cabinet also ratified a proposal of providing Rs 403 crore for a para-medical college at Jhansi.