Mahakumbh prep is also ushering in development, infrastructural projects, amenities and facilities both on a permanent and temporary basis.(HT Photo)
Mahakumbh prep is also ushering in development, infrastructural projects, amenities and facilities both on a permanent and temporary basis.(HT Photo)

Mahakumbh 2021 prep is changing face of Haridwar, here’s how

In a first, this Mahakumbh will witness temples, ashrams, dharamshalas, hotels in Haridwar coloured in saffron and yellow colors.
By Sandeep Rawat | Hindustan Times, Haridwar
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 08:09 PM IST

Mahakumbh melas, the biggest religious congregations on the planet, help people seek spiritual upliftment. The preparation of the Mahakumbh 2021 in Haridwar is in full swing and is also changing the face of the sacred city.

The upcoming Mahakumbh, scheduled from January till April 2021, is being keenly awaited by pilgrims, seers and people, given it is being held after twelve years.

It is also ushering in development, infrastructural projects, amenities and facilities both on a permanent and temporary basis.

Almost 70-85 per cent specific Kumbh budget allocated by the Central government is spent on permanent nature works like construction of bridges, Ganga ghats, roads, flyovers, expansion of Kumbh mela zone area and so on. While temporary works include setting up of temporary mela base camp at Bairagi Camp, restricted Kumbh land for seers, Akhadas, religious organisation pontiffs and also for Kumbh mela administration personnel, particularly for Kumbh Force comprising Uttarakhand police and central para-military forces personnel.

How Kumbh prep is changing the face of Haridwar

Digging work across the city for laying piped natural gas pipeline, underground electricity cable, sewer lines, broadening of national highway-58, construction of bridges over Ganga, flyovers, underpasses, railway line broadening is going on at present. Authorities says all works will be completed by December end.

Every six years, Haridwar gets a facelift due to Mahakumbh and Ardh Kumbh fairs which are being held for centuries. During the previous Ardh Kumbh in 2016, a budget of Rs 258 crores was earmarked for various development works. Prominent among them was the construction of four new bridges at Har-Ki-Pauri, Chintamani Ashram, Laltarau and Jwalapur, providing easier connectivity of the city to both sides of the Ganga canal.

Also read: ‘A man is not great by his caste, but by his talent’ - Nitin Gadkari

Sewer connectivity has strengthened and this time it is being taken up across municipal corporation wards and suburban Jwalapur to saint dominated clusters of Bhoopatwala-Khadkhadi-Neel Dhara-Saptsarovar where temples, ashrams, maths and dharamshalas are in abundance.

Haridwar, during Mahakumbh, will be the first city in Uttarakhand to be free of hanging electric wires and poles as the underground power cable project is also in its last phase. Also, over a thousand odd households have been connected with piped natural gas (PNG) making LPG cylinders a thing of the past for them. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has been carrying out the project in Haridwar city and its expected to get completed in the coming months.

2010 vs 2021

Initial assistance of Rs 365 crores from the Central government for Mahakumbh fair led to the start of multiple construction related works with major focus on permanent nature works.

During 2010 Mahakumbh, 3,310 metre of new Ganga ghats were constructed while this time five new Ganga ghats are being developed.

Similarly, one single major steel girder span bridge was built in 2010 Mahakumbh near British era Damkoti guesthouse on Mayapur regulator for Rs 4.34 crore.

This time, three major bridges are being built on the Ganga river and canal. New Dhanauri bridge, for Rs 6.8 crores, will replace more than 150-year-old British era bridge which is in dilapidated condition and provides easier access and exit to Haridwar city from Bhagwanpur-Kaliyar-Roorkee side.

The 2010 Kumbh also saw the construction of a two-storey parking lot opposite to Har-Ki-Pauri with a capacity of 800 vehicles.

At Jagjeetpur village near Matri Sadan ashram, a new bridge is being constructed at a cost of Rs 5.52 crore, providing connectivity to Bairagi Kumbh camp area with Kankhal. Within a kilometre, the third bridge is being built at Dakshdeep-Bairagi camp stretch on Ganga canal by Public Work Department (PWD).

Also read: PM Modi to interact with three Covid-19 vaccine development teams

Temporary nature works - like setting up of tents for akhadas, seers and in particular for mela force, state police and personnel of paramilitary forces - will begin by next month.

Also, in a first, this Mahakumbh will witness temples, ashrams, dharamshalas, hotels in Haridwar coloured in saffron and yellow colors.

“Single colour code will give a unique and spiritual aura to Har-Ki-Pauri and core mela zone in Haridwar in sync with the religious aura of the pilgrim city during Mahakumbh,” said additional district magistrate Kumbh mela Harbeer Singh.

Covid dampener

When Kumbh mela related works commenced a year ago, it was expected the budget would cross the previous Rs 655 crore sanctioned for 2010 Mahakumbh. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, both the budget and spread of multiple infrastructure-related works were affected.

While before the Covid-19 epidemic, over 12 crore pilgrims and tourists were expected to participate in the Mahakumbh, now the state government will take final a decision on the number of pilgrims for the first Shahi Snaan (royal bath) on Maha Shivratri in February, which drew nearly four to five million devotees in 2010. In all, 8.5 crore pilgrims had arrived in 2010 Mahakumbh in Haridwar.

The apex body of akhadas, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad has also agreed for a restrictive or mild Mahakumbh fair if the epidemic continues till February.

“We want preparations to be done at a grand scale but simultaneously we have apprised the Uttarakhand government and Kumbh mela administration that, if need be, only two or five seers from each of thirteen akhadas will take the sacred Ganga dip during three Shahi Snaan in Mahakumbh. But we are hopeful, Covid containment will be done and the fair will be open for all,” said Akhada Parishad general secretary Mahant Hari Giri Maharaj.

Should Kumbh be “restrictive”?

With permanent nature works in the last phase, mela officials, saints, akhada office-bearers, local priests are discussing whether Mahakumbh 2021 will be grander affair than 2010 or due to Covid-19 restrictions, it will be curtailed to a normal event.

Urban development cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik, who is Haridwar city legislator, pointed that the state government will take a final call on Kumbh mela guidelines in February-March taking into consideration Covid-19 spread, containment in Uttarakhand and other states, as well as standard operating guidelines for mass religious events of Central government.

“As of now, mela administration is carrying out works keeping in mind a full-fledged Kumbh fair and there is some time before three Shahi Snaan near when actual picture will get clearer,” said Madan Kaushik, who was in-charge cabinet minister in 2010 Mahakumbh.

“Currently, we are focusing on completing the Kumbh preparations that are of a permanent nature. Without proper infrastructure, the fair can’t be held properly. We have to utilise the Kumbh budget being allocated by the government to the fullest. Later, after assessing the situation and government guidelines, we’ll formulate ways to hold the event in a manner that is safe for pilgrims and visitors,” said Lalit Narayan Mishra, additional district magistrate, Kumbh mela.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
A pedestrian walks past a wall mural in Mumbai on March 6, 2021. (AFP)
A pedestrian walks past a wall mural in Mumbai on March 6, 2021. (AFP)

86.25% new Covid cases in 6 states: Govt

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:55 PM IST
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 11,141, followed by Kerala with 2,100 and Punjab with 1,043 new infections, the ministry said.
Close
Representational image.
Representational image.

Maratha reservation: SC to hear all states; will examine if Indra Sawhney needs reconsideration

By Abraham Thomas
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:56 PM IST
The request to seek a response from all states was raised by Maharashtra ,which has maintained that it is justified in exceeding the 50% ceiling in the state to benefit Marathas
Close
The Supreme Court. (File photo)
The Supreme Court. (File photo)

Remarks misreported; court has highest regard for women: CJI Bobde

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:47 PM IST
Seeking to dispel a controversy after bench led by him asked a rape accused last week whether he was ready to marry the complainant, Justice Bobde pointed out that his questions to the lawyer for the accused were in the facts of that case but there was misreporting by the media
Close
Men row their makeshift raft made of plastic pipes on the Dal Lake.(AP)
Men row their makeshift raft made of plastic pipes on the Dal Lake.(AP)

Snowfall and rains bring down Kashmir temperature

By Mir Ehsan, Srinagar, Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:38 PM IST
  • Another spell of scattered to widespread rain with thunderstorm and snowfall is most likely during March 11-13th, as per the weather department.
Close
A pharmacist displays a box of tocilizumab, which is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. (REUTERS)
A pharmacist displays a box of tocilizumab, which is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. (REUTERS)

Arthritis drug cuts death risk by half in severe Covid-19 patients: Study

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:25 PM IST
Since the rheumatoid arthritis drug is immunosuppressive, doctors were concerned that it could lead to more secondary infections
Close
Image courtesy: ANI
Image courtesy: ANI

International Women's Day: Women MPs push for 33% reservation in Parliament

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Shivani
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:16 PM IST
  • The Women's Reservation Bill is the pending bill in the Parliament that seeks amendment in the Constitution of India to reserve one-third of all seats in the Lok Sabha and in all state legislatures for women.
Close
Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)
Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)

Low attendance in Demand for Grants meetings an area of concern: Naidu

UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:48 PM IST
Addressing members of the Upper House, Naidu said the attendance of members of non-BJP and non-Congress parties and groups fell to 27.60% from 40% last year
Close
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Is Haryana’s new reservation law constitutionally tenable?

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:52 AM IST
Under the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2021 , every employer is required to employ 75% “local candidates” for posts where the gross monthly salary is not more than 50,000
Close
The women protesters arrive at Tikri border near Delhi on Monday.(ANI Photo)
The women protesters arrive at Tikri border near Delhi on Monday.(ANI Photo)

Women protesters join ongoing stir demanding repeal of 'black laws'

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:38 AM IST
The Samkyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protest, said it expects 15,000 women protesters at Tikri and 4,000 at Singhu on Monday. The women are coming to protest sites new Delhi on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Close
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.(HT file)
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.(HT file)

International Women's Day: Punjab lines up 8 schemes aimed at female empowerment

Posted by Joydeep Bose | ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:38 AM IST
The International Women's Day, on March 8 every year, celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
Close
The tremor was recorded at 7.42 AM with its epicentre 13 km east-north-east of Dudhai in Kutch district(PTI/ Representational photo)
The tremor was recorded at 7.42 AM with its epicentre 13 km east-north-east of Dudhai in Kutch district(PTI/ Representational photo)

Magnitude 3.2 tremor felt in Gujarat's Kutch district, no casualties reported

Posted by Joydeep Bose | PTI
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:16 AM IST
Kutch is located in a very high-risk seismic zone, according to the state disaster management authorities.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at AIIMS in New Delhi, last Monday. (ANI Photo )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at AIIMS in New Delhi, last Monday. (ANI Photo )

India’s Covid-19 vaccine drive jumps four-fold as PM Modi is inoculated

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:05 AM IST
Some of the biggest companies operating in the country have said they will cover the costs of vaccination for their employees and families, including Accenture Plc, Infosys Ltd. and Reliance Industries Ltd.
Close
The ships' crew will participate in professional and cultural exchanges as well as friendly sports fixtures with their counterparts in the Bangladesh Navy(PTI File Photo/Representative Image )
The ships' crew will participate in professional and cultural exchanges as well as friendly sports fixtures with their counterparts in the Bangladesh Navy(PTI File Photo/Representative Image )

Indian Navy Ships to visit Bangladesh on 50th anniversary of 1971 Liberation war

ANI, Dhaka
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:42 AM IST
India and Bangladesh are celebrating 50 years of the liberation war in which the Pakistan Army was thrown out of Bangladesh and 90,000 of their troops were made to surrender.
Close
India on Monday reported a fresh surge in cases after 18,599 infections were reported in the lat 24 hours. (HT Photo)
India on Monday reported a fresh surge in cases after 18,599 infections were reported in the lat 24 hours. (HT Photo)

India's Covid-19 tally rises after 18,599 fresh cases recorded in last 24 hours

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:44 AM IST
India’s total active caseload stood at 1.88 lakh after six states across the country reported a surge in daily Covid-19 cases.
Close
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting ahead of West Bengal Assembly Polls, at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)
(PTI03_07_2021_000175A)(PTI)
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting ahead of West Bengal Assembly Polls, at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra) (PTI03_07_2021_000175A)(PTI)

On International Women’s Day, PM Modi salutes ‘indomitable Nari Shakti’

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:49 AM IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh also hailed the role of women in strengthening the foundations of the nation.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP