HYDERABAD: The state government has requested the Centre to release a special grant of Rs 750 crore for Godavari Pushkarams as it plans to organise them on a massive scale on the lines of Kumbh Mela from July 14 to 25 this year.
Replying to question raised by Koppula Eshwar and others in the state Assembly on Wednesday, endowments minister A Indrakaran Reddy said proposals for Rs 907.20 crore were submitted to the Centre requesting it to release Rs 750 crore as a special grant based on the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-committee.
He further said that keeping in view the importance and religious sentiments attached to it, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao wanted to make the pushkarams in the newly formed state a memorable one. For this a Cabinet sub-committee with four ministers was constituted to review the arrangements.
Nearly Rs 500 crore would be spent on the 12-day event. The state government has allotted Rs 100 crore in 2014-15 budget and another Rs 100 crore in the 2015-16 budget.
The TRS government was taking all steps to ensure that the devotees coming to Warangal, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nizamabad and Khammam districts, through which Godavari river passes and where ghats are being constructed, would not face any hardships.
Nearly 6 to 7 crore devotees are expected to participate not only from state but also from neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka states and other parts of the country.
The minister said that Cabinet sub-committee on Godavari Pushkarams held detailed review meetings roads and buildings, panchayat raj, rural water supply and others and suggested to meet the funds from their own budget which was allocated by the government for executing the works pertaining to their departments.
The R&B and PR departments would spend Rs 264 crore and Rs 100 respectively for laying of roads while RWS will spend Rs 86 crore. The endowments department will spend Rs 13 crore for sprucing up 46 temples.
The minister said there were about 27 bathing ghats on the banks of river Godavari in the five districts through which it flows. This year steps have been taken to provide as many as 88 bathing ghats for which Rs 82 crore has been released.
Civic works like roads, toilets, washing rooms, stalls, temporary shelters, drinking water, food, emergency healthcare and sanitation are in progress and is being reviewed by chief secretary. All the works connected with the pushkarams are expected to be completed by the end of June. About 1,500 special buses would be operated by the RTC and SCR was also requested to provide special train services.
Besides respective district collectors, one senior IAS officer has been appointed as special officer to monitor the works.