New Delhi: Amid the ongoing court proceedings over Ram Mandir which is likely to conclude on Wednesday, the state government has drawn up a grander celebration plan of deepotsav (festival of lamps) from October 25-27. For the past three years, the Yogi government has been celebrating this diya festival ahead of Diwali with much grandeur.
According to reports, more than 5.5 lakh diyas will be lit up surpassing last year’s record of three lakh earthen which earned Ayodhya’s ‘Deepotsava’ a Guinness World Record Entry as the lamps were kept lit for at least 45 minutes on the banks of the river Saryu.
Out of these 5.5 lakh diyas, around 4 lakh will be lit at Ram Paidi — the others will be placed at other religious places in the city. Even Ram ki Paidi ghat, this time, will not have still water. Under a new project of the irrigation department, it will have flowing water.
At Ram Katha Park, a symbolic coronation of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman will be done. A ‘Ram darbar’ will be erected at the Ram ki Paidi ghat.
All state tourism ministers have been invited to the gala. Names of foreign dignitaries will be announced soon. Last year, South Korea’s first lady Kim Jung-Sook as a chief guest.
Preparations for the grand celebrations come at a time when over 25,000 home guards lost their jobs ahead of Diwali. The Yogi Adityanath government was under pressure from the Supreme Court to pay them at par with the police constables. The state home guards were earlier getting a daily allowance of around Rs 500 which later was increased to Rs 672 on the top court’s order. This extra allowance was said to become an extra burden on the state government which led it to take the harsh decision.
Home Guards minister Chetan Chauhan, however, said no formal decision has been taken