An estimated cost of Rs 1,800 crore will be incurred to build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and factors that led to the increase in budget estimates include technical changes, expansion of the temple complex and increased cost of land acquisition.
The construction works on three floors of the superstructure of the temple, comprising the ‘Garbh Griha’ and five ‘mandaps’ on the ground floor, started in full swing.
India Today spoke to Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust official to understand the factors affecting the cost of the temple construction.
Champat Rai, the general secretary of the trust, said that technical changes have increased the cost of construction. He said the work which is underway is as per the construction firm’s advice, to ensure that the temple has a life span of 1,000 years and it has the capacity to withstand challenges including natural calamities.
The construction of the temple is expected to be completed by December 2023 and an idol of Lord Ram is expected to be seated in the sanctum sanctorum by the Makar Sankranti festival in January 2024.
Rai also said that seven more temples will be built in the 70-acre complex. These temples have idols of prominent Hindu seers and the main characters from the Ramayana period, such as Maharishi Valmiki, Maharishi Vashistha, Maharishi Vishwamitra, among others.
As per the sources, some members of the trust stated during the meeting that the idol of the child form of Lord Ram should be made from Shaligram rock, while others opined that it should be built using marble or wood.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has raised questions over the increased budget. SP spokesperson Ameeque Jamai alleged a scam in the land acquisition proceedings and claimed many top BJP leaders and MLAs were involved in it. He also called for a SC-appointed committee to oversee fund allocation.
Refuting the claims, Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the Ram Temple, said the expansion of the temple complex, a three-floor temple plan and construction of seven temples have contributed to the increased budget estimates.
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