Rajasthan mines giving sandstone for Ayodhya temple get green nod

Updated on May 27, 2022 02:41 AM IST

In November-December last year, the state mines department had e-auctioned 41 mining plots in Bansi Paharpur area for the pink sandstones which are preferred for the construction of the Ayodhya temple.

A view of the under-construction Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya. (ANI)
A view of the under-construction Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya. (ANI)
By, Jaipur

The Rajasthan government has granted environmental clearance to 12 mines in Bansi Paharpur area of Bharatpur district for supply of pink sandstone to Ayodhya for construction of Ram temple, officials said.

Green clearance for another set of 12 mines is expected to be approved by mid-July, they added.

In November-December last year, the state mines department had e-auctioned 41 mining plots in Bansi Paharpur area for the pink sandstones which are preferred for the construction of the Ayodhya temple.

Also Read | Trying to begin Ram temple darshan by December 2023: Misra

“Twelve mining lease holders can begin mining by the end of May. The remaining are likely to get green clearance by the end of this month or by the first fortnight of July,” additional chief secretary (mines) Subodh Agrawal said.

With the issuance of the green clearance, stones from these mines will now be legally available for other areas and mining activity will generate direct and indirect employment, Agrawal said.

In March last year, Block A and B of Bansi Paharpur, Sukhasila and Kot areas were excluded from Bandh Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary for mining activities. Three months later, the Union ministry of forest, environment and climate change approved diversion of forest land for mining of sandstone in Bansi Paharpur.

The state mines department, thereafter, began preparing mining blocks in Bansi Paharpur and started preparations for their auction.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has called for efforts to keep a check on illegal mining in Bansi Paharpur area, Agrawal said.

Leaseholders of mines in these areas said they are being approached by people involved in the construction of the Ram temple for the sandstone.

“I have three mines in the area and was contacted recently by people involved in the construction of the Ayodhya temple. However, things are on hold till mining operations begin after inking an agreement with the government and getting permission from the pollution control department,” Deepraj Singh, a mine owner at Bansi Paharpur said.

An office bearer of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which is overseeing the high-profile project, said while 4.70 lakh cubic feet of pink stone is needed for the temple construction, only 70,000 cubic feet has reached Ayodhya so far.

However, with the environmental approvals from the Rajasthan government, regular supply of pink stone is expected to speed up the construction of the temple, the officer bearer said on condition of anonymity.

While the first batch of pink sandstone from Bandi Paharpur had reached Ayodhya on April 5, most of it was illegally extracted. The sandstone will be used for the walls of the Ram Temple after the plinth work is completed by June end, Anil Mishra, one of the trustees of the Trust, had said in April.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sachin Saini is Special Correspondent for Rajasthan. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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