Mayapur (WB) Feb 13 (PTI) Alfred Ford, the great grandson of Henry Ford, has requested West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to help ISKCON set up a world tourism centre at Mayapur in Nadia district.

ISKCON devotee Ford, who is the chairman of a project for building a Rs 700-crore temple at Mayapur, told PTI here yesterday, “We are extremely happy to work with the present government. They have helped us in so many ways”.

ISKCON said that it is constructing the biggest Vedic temple of the world popularly known as the Temple of Vedic Planetarium at Mayapur dham, the birth place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The Chief Minister had said yesterday that ISKCON was setting up a world tourism circuit centre at Mayapur.

“They have sought our assistance. We would be very happy to help them,” Banerjee had said during her visit to Mayapur.

Ford has heaped praise on the Trinamool Congress government for helping the ISKCON build the grand temple at Mayapur and said that the erstwhile government in the state was “very difficult to work with”.

Talking about his expectations from Banerjee after her visit to the temple yesterday, Ford said, “Personally, I really have no expectations from her.

“But her visit is quite important for us. I hope she has enjoyed visiting the new ISKCON temple here. We wanted to welcome her here and serve her so that this whole place can flourish and develop. She can help us sure.” Stressing that it was a long way for developing the infrastructure at Mayapur, Ford said that they need help in this regard from the state government.

Hopeful that the temple would open up a new horizon for the tourists, Ford said it would attract millions of tourists from around the globe.

“I think the traffic will increase quite a bit and many more people will be coming here from around the world. It was the desire of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, to see people from every country coming here. He wanted to bring in Europeans, Americans and Russians to ISKCON and we are helping to fulfil his dream,” Ford said.

On when he was hoping the project to be completed, Ford said, “It is difficult to build the temple. It is an ongoing struggle. We are hoping that the temple will be completed by 2022.”

The project reached a major milestone with the installation of two ton ‘sudarshan chakra’ on the domes of the temple earlier this month.

The temple which is almost the size of the Giza pyramid, is spread over four lakh sq ft.

Capable of holding more than 10,000 people inside the main hall, the temple will have vedic interpretations of the universe in the form of a 3D mobile model suspended from the ceiling of the main dome.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.