Maha Kumbh 2025 in UP to be bigger, grander

The Maha Kumbh in Prayagraj in 2025, will be much larger in scale and grandeur compared to what it was in 2019.

Uttar Pradesh minister for industries and infrastructure development, Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’, said that preparations for a grander celebration of the what can be termed as the world largest religious congregation, have already begun.

Nandi, who belongs to Prayagraj, said: “The Chief Minister has directed that 2025 Maha Kumbh should be unforgettable and unprecedented.”

He said that though it was a little early for him to divulge details, he said that the scale of the Maha Kumbh celebration will be at least 20 per cent higher while the convenience of the foot-pilgrims will be given much more importance.

“Feedback from the previous occasion has indicated that many pilgrims complained that they had to walk a lot to reach the Sangam last time. The needs of pilgrims will be addressed through better planning. In fact, the Chief Minister has said that the number of parking places at all entry points to the city must be increased to ensure the convenience of common pilgrims as they are the soul of the observances of Maha Kumbh,” Nandi said.

Tourists and devotees coming to Prayagraj for Maha Kumbh 2025 would be able to enjoy streamer and mini-cruise rides for the first time.

For this, the Inland Waterways Authority of India has done the needed survey. The service will be operational from two points — one from boat club to Sangam and second from Lavayan Kala (Naini side) on river Ganga to Sangam.

A two-floor jetty would also be constructed at boat club from where one can start the ride and rest at the floating restaurant.

At present, only VVIP’s coming to Sangam avail steamer or motorboat service provided by the district administration.

The service would be launched from Magh Mela-2024 on a trial basis so that the administration can work on shortcomings, if any, and rectify the same the before Maha Kumbh-2025.

These services would be a major attraction for the pilgrims and tourists arriving here from all over the world to be a part of the grand religious fair.

Confirming the development, officer in-charge of Inland Waterways Authority of India, Prayagraj, Ashok Kumar said the central government has already made funds of around Rs 14 crore available to the state tourism department in this regard.

“Two jetties (structures that project from land out into water to allow boats/ships to dock along it) will be constructed for this. One would come up between the new and the old Yamuna Bridges near Prayagraj Boat Club while the other would come up at another at Arail or Lavayan Kala. Both the places would also be developed as picnic spots,” he added.

Kumar said the state tourism department has entrusted the task of constructing the jetties to central public works department (CPWD) and tenders have already been invited.

The jetties would have changing and waiting rooms besides toilets and a designated parking spot. Each the two would be 35-ft long and 8-ft wide allowing people to embark and disembark from a boat/steamer, officials said.

The plan is to earmark separate routes for both the steamer and the cruise services on the Ganga and the Yamuna, the official added.

Also, the Prayagraj Mela Authority also plans to start chopper services during the religious affair allowing visitors to get a glimpse of the colourful mega fair from the top.

The authority is mulling over proposal wherein permanent helipads would be constructed at three places around the mela area, including one at boat club, one each at Arail side of Sangam and Jhunsi side of Ganga.

Preparations for the mega event have already begun with the infrastructure being the focus of all activity.

A senior district official said: “Roads, sewage system, electricity and water supply network is being expanded as well as spruced up for the Maha Kumbh. We have been asked to complete all the developmental work by the end of 2023 – a year ahead of the Maha Kumbh.”

He said that regulation of pilgrim movement would be high on the priority list of the administration so that there are no traffic bottlenecks during the month-long event.

He said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was taking keen personal interest in the progress of developmental work and had already warned officials against any unexplained delay and laxity in completion of projects.

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