AYODHYA: The ball was set rolling for the much-awaited construction of
in Ayodhya when the
Teerath Kshetra Trust on Saturday decided to send a formal invite to Prime Minister
to lay the foundation of the temple.
Sources said the Trust has proposed August 5 to PMO as the possible date for the ground-breaking ceremony (bhoomi poojan) and was hopeful of Modi making it. In fact, one of the members of the Trust, Kameshwar Chaupal, asserted that the PM has given his consent.
At the meeting of the Trust which decided to scale up the size of the Ram Mandir, there was consensus on two auspicious dates for ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ based on planetary configurations — August 3 or August 5. The crucial meeting of the Trust was also attended by PM’s former principal secretary and chairman of temple construction committee, Nripendra Misra.
“The Prime Minister’s Office will take the final call about the date,” said general secretary of the Trust, Champat Rai, while talking to reporters at
Circuit House. This was the first high-level meeting convened by the Trust in Ayodhya after the apex court ruled in favour of the temple at
Confirming the decision to invite Modi, Rai said it would launch a nationwide outreach to mobilise 10 crore families after the monsoon to crowd-fund the project, which symbolises the ‘core of Hindu faith’.
Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, spokesman of
President Nritya Gopal Das, said PM Modi’s presence at the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ would expedite the project and give a message to scores of Hindus across the country.
He said it will take 3 to three and half years to complete the temple after the map is finalised. The Trust also agreed to make amendments to the design, laid down by Vishwa Hindu Parishad that spearheaded the temple movement for decades. Rai said there is a proposal to raise the height of the temple from 128 feet to 161 feet and increase the number of conical domes from three to five. Also, there is a proposal to extend the temple circumference from 70 acres to 108 acres.
Chaupal said the decision to raise the height of the Ram Mandir was taken after consultations with all members. The discussions to alter the design have been on since the Supreme Court verdict, even though VHP underlined the need to adhere to the earlier model, depicted on various occasions like the Kumbh at Prayagraj.