Why delay on scrapping canal tag to Ganga stretch, asks priests | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Why delay on scrapping canal tag to Ganga stretch, asks priests

An apex body of priests on Sunday criticised the state  government for delay in nullifying the erstwhile Congress government’s notification, declaring the Ganga as a canal from Bhoopatwala to Shri Daksheswar Mahadev temple

dehradun Updated: Nov 19, 2017 20:30 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times
Ganga stretch,Bhoopatwala,Shri Daksheswar Mahadev temple
Bhagirathi Bindu, the point from where water from mainstream Ganga at Neeldhara is diverted towards Har-Ki-Pauri since British era during construction of Ganga Canal in Haridwar.(RAMESHWAR GAUR/HT )

An apex body of priests on Sunday criticised the state  government for delay in nullifying the erstwhile Congress government’s notification, declaring the Ganga as a canal from Bhoopatwala to Shri Daksheswar Mahadev temple — a stretch within which lay Har ki Pauri.

The notification was seen as an attempt to “avoid” problems for development works close to the Ganga bank.

The Akhil Bharatiya Teerth Purohit Mahasabha (ABTPM)  has termed the notification “unethical” and a move “aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of large number of devotees”, who come to Haridwar to take dip in the holy river.

The ABTPM held a meeting in Allahabad recently and passed a resolution demanding to restore the sanctity of sanctum sanctorum of Brahamkund at Har Ki Pauri.

Shrikant Vashisth, ABTPM’s general secretary, told HT that teerth-purohits were quite angry over the BJP government that assumed charged early this year for not taking any step to repeal the notification.

“It’s almost six months, since the new BJP government came to power in the state, yet the notification still exists there. If Har Ki Pauri is a canal, then what’s the significance of taking holy dip and performing rituals there, government should explain,” he said.

“It’s the same place where nectar had fallen during tug-of-war between deities and demons. There are ample evidences of ancient texts and Vedic scriptures mentioning Braham Kund, Har Ki Pauri. The previous government did a blunder but if not rectified then this government, too, is treading a similar line, which teerth purohits will not accept.”

Ganga Sabha, the apex body that looks into Har-Ki-Pauri affairs, has also lend it support to this demand.

Its president Purushottam Sharma Gandhiwadi said since ages Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh fair has been organised at Brahamkund, Har Ki Pauri, it was quite surprising that political parties and respective governments were not taking this issue seriously.

“Ganga Sabha has been managing Har Ki Pauri since 1916, when an agreement between Pt Madan Mohan Malviya and the British rulers was signed to ensure unhindered flow (aviral dhara) of Ganga at Har Ki Pauri and minimum 1,000 cusecs flow of water at any point of time at Brahamkund.

“Even the British rulers acknowledged the significance of Har Ki Pauri. So, it’s quite shocking that the government is not repealing the order,” said Sharma.

Government spokesperson and minister Madan Kaushik said the state government was committed to protect the holy river and mistakes made by the previous government would be rectified.

“The Ganga was regarded as deity and chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat during his visit to Har Ku Pauri had himself announced of rectifying the mistake. So, it’s just a matter of time,” he said.

Ex-Congress municipal chairperson Satpal Brahamchari said then chief minister and Congress leader Harish Rawat had already apologised to people of Haridwar and Ganga devotees for making a “grave mistake by declaring Har-Ki-Pauri stretch as canal”.

“It was a mistake which has been realised. So, it’s up to the current BJP government to nullify that order,” said Brahamchari.

RTI activist JP Baduni, who has filed numerous petitions before courts regarding Ganga pollution, said the Congress government had issued the notification to protect commercial interests of hoteliers, guest house owners and traders in Har Ki Pauri.

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 20:30 IST