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Thursday 9 April 2020

Ayodhya: Temple construction to begin on Ram Navami

The trust for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya has to be formed simultaneously with the grant of 5 acre of land elsewhere for a mosque

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Following the historic verdict of the Supreme Court, paving the way for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, the construction of a magnificent Ram temple may begin with a special function on the day of Lord Rama’s birthday on 2 April next year. Those associated said that the timeline for the construction of the Ram temple is as per the Supreme Court’s 9 November order where it ordered the Union government to constitute a trust for the construction of the temple within three months.

It is not yet clear whether the function in Ayodhya will involve just the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram temple, as the foundation stone had been constructed and kept aside in 1989. Government sources said that it may take two to three years to build the temple while some media houses have reported it could take as many as five years.

Sources said that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office has asked the district magistrate of Ayodhya to identify three or four alternative sites for the five acres of land for the mosque construction. A plot with a significant location will be given to the Sunni Central Waqf Board to build the mosque.

‘Secularism’ in Ayodhya ensured by simultaneity

According to the Supreme Court order, the task of handing over the hitherto disputed 2.77 acres to the proposed trust and giving 5 acre* to the Sunni Central Waqf Board is to be done simultaneously. The Waqf Board will decide this month whether it will accept the offer of 5 acre of land and, if so, where. The Ram Mandir Trust can be built on the lines of the Somnath Trust, Amarnath Shrine Board or Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board or a comparable body for an institutionalised temple. [*1 international acre = 4,046.8564224 sq m; Sirf News does not use any measurement unit in its plural form in keeping with the standard practice in academic books of physics]

The Centre will have to hand over the possession of the remaining 62.23 acre of land in Ayodhya acquired around the disputed site to the proposed trust. The 43-acre tract of land was acquired from the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (RNB) so that the trust could be represented in the trust. The trust did not take any compensation from the government for the land at the time of acquisition. The remaining 20 acre is owned by bodies like Manas Bhawan, Sankat Mochan Mandir, Katha Mandap and Janaki Mahal.

The central government had approached the Supreme Court in January this year for permission to return 62.23 acre of land to its original landowners. It is now expected that the RNB and other parties will donate their land for the Ram temple and other important constructions related to it.

The RNB has about 1.8 lakh stone pillars ready for the temple construction, which it can hand over to the proposed trust. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, being the administrative head of the state, may refuse to become a member of the proposed trust. He can instead nominate a minister of state or senior bureaucrat as his representative in the trust, said a source. He said further that the chief minister could even resign from the post of a member of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.

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