Bihar to spend over ₹20 crore on security of temples, walls at burial grounds
The Bihar government has decided to tighten security and set up boundaries around the temples and burial grounds in the state and will spend over ₹23 crore on the same.
Under the project, over two dozen temples of 19 districts will be covered and 17 burial grounds across 15 districts have been identified. While the burial grounds will be developed at ₹13.50 crore, the government will be spending over ₹10 crore over boundary walls around the temples. Last week, the state home department also approved the funds for the same.
Home department deputy secretary Vimalesh Kumar Jha said the department has approved the amount for the financial year of 2020-21. “It was to be handled earlier, but it got delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown,” he said.
The move is aimed to address the issue of encroachment and illegal constructions over the burial grounds and near temples. Besides, there also has been a rise in incidents of thefts of idols from temples.
On December 29, 2020, two idols of Shiva and Parvati were stolen from Radha Krishna Thakurbari at Patna Sahib area in the state capital.
In March 2020 also three Ashtadhatu idols of Ram, Sita and Lakshman were stolen from a temple in Purnia while in January 2019 five Ashtadhatu idols disappeared from a temple in Samastipur.
“These are only a few incidents and many might not have got reported. Most of the temples in rural areas are without boundary walls and have been targeted by miscreants who sell them to antique dealers,” claimed Dr Kishore Kunal, former chairman of Bihar Religious Trust Board.
A former official of Bihar Shia Waqf Board, Irshad Ali, said, “Encroachment has been a big issue at burial grounds. At many such places locals have encroached upon the land. Such areas are in a dire need of boundary walls to demarcate the area.”
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