MP cabinet approves 108-feet tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar
The Madhya Pradesh cabinet has approved ₹2,141 crore for the construction of the Statue of Oneness, a museum dedicated to Shankaracharya and an International Advaita Vedanta Sansthan at Omkareshwar.
BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday approved the construction of a 108-feet tall statue of the 8th century Indian philosopher Adi Shankaracharya, a museum dedicated to him and an International Advaita Vedanta Sansthan at Omkareshwar at a cost of ₹2,141 crore, state home minister Narottam Mishra said.
Shankaracharya is known for consolidating the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, a Hindu school of philosophy. On November 5 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a12-foot statue of Shankaracharya at the Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand.
Addressing media persons after the cabinet meeting, Mishra said, “The cabinet has given in-principle approval of budget ₹2141.85 crore for the construction of the Statue of Oneness, museum and the institute.”
Madhya Pradesh’s culture and tourism department has decided to build a multi-metal statue of Shankaracharya on Mandhata Parvat hill facing the river Narmada.
“The Statue of Oneness will be placed on a 27-feet high lotus petal base over a 54 feet-high pedestal. The sole height of the statue from the base i.e. paduka till the apex will be 108 feet,” said Sheo Shekhar Shukla, principal secretary, culture and tourism department.
“In Acharya Shankar Museum, the life and philosophy of Acharya Shankar will be displayed through the most modern & innovative ways. All structures will have visible imprints of Indian culture along with traditional Indian art & architecture. The proposed Acharya Shankar International Institute of Advaita-Vedant will be the centre of learning & experience for Advaita Vedanta,” he added.
Opposition Congress alleged that the government was giving preference to the statue over basic development issues.
MP Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja said, “We don’t oppose the construction of statue but the state government, which is already under debt of ₹2.64 lakh crore, should also give preference to basic development issues like generating employment, eradicating poverty and improving health infrastructure.”
This will be the third major statue being built in India by the government. Last Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Equality in the outskirts of Hyderabad to commemorate the 11th-century Bhakti saint Sri Ramanujacharya on his 1,000th birth anniversary. In 2018, PM Modi inaugurated Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujarat, in memory of former deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabbhai Patel.
The Madhya Pradesh cabinet also approved MP Mineral (illegal mining, transportation and storage) Rules 2022. “Under the new policy, on transportation of illegally mined sand, the mining department will charge fine 15 times of royalty. Similarly, on confiscation of vehicles, the defaulter will have to pay ₹50,000 for tractor trolley and ₹4 lakh for 10-wheeler truck and poclain machine,” said Mishra.
Saluja alleged that the state government is promoting corruption by increasing the fine on illegal mining.
The cabinet also approved two new industrial areas in Bhopal and Sehore. It was also decided to include 412 municipalities under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation-2.0 (AMRUT-2.0) scheme.