NEW DELHI, July 3: Marking the ongoing development of the sacred Parshuram Kund, the VIPRA Foundation organized a special Swasti Kaamna Samaroh at Dr Ambedkar International Center in New Delhi on Tuesday.

During the event, Union Culture and Tourism Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Bhagirath Chaudhary along with several newly elected MPs were felicitated.

Speaking on the occasion, Mein expressed gratitude to the people for their continued support and faith in re-electing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power for the third consecutive time. He noted that the continued support has enabled the government to consistently work towards fostering development all across the nation.

He said that the development of the Parshuram Kund is one of such projects that the government of India has prioritized in Arunachal Pradesh under the PRASHAD scheme.

In addition to the government’s efforts, the VIPRA Foundation is also closely associated with the development of the Kund.

Recalling one of the significant milestones associated with the pilgrimage project, Mein highlighted the long-term efforts of the VIPRA Foundation in promoting and developing the site, with the donation of a 51-ft bronze statue of Sage Parshuram, whose foundation stone was laid by Union Minister Amit Shah back in May 2022.

Commenting on the progress of the installation of the statue, Mein stated that an onsite inspection undertaken by him revealed the foundation work to be completed, with the retaining wall on the hillside currently under construction, expected to be completed within a month.

“I have instructed the department to commence the landscaping and beautification at the earliest, along with the construction of the approach road,” Mein added.

Mein further disclosed that the Arunachal Pradesh government has approved the “Construction of River Front in Parshuram Kund in Lohit District” under NESIDS (OTRI) with a project cost of Rs 50 crore during the State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) meeting on June 26 last. This proposal will be submitted to the Union Ministry of DoNER, for sanctioning at the earliest. Additionally, the state government will provide an additional Rs 50 crore for the development of Parshuram Kund.

The project envisages constructing a River Front spanning 200 meters on the left bank of the Lohit river along the mela ground of Parshuram Kund. It includes components such as lawns, walkways, a ramp for vertical movement, a viewing deck, an outdoor amphitheater, a viewing tower, and a ritual deck for ash immersion by devotees. The development project aims to create a recreational space for the devotees attending the ‘holy dip’ Mela at the Sacred Kund, on occasion of Makar Sankranti in January, which attracts more than 100,000 pilgrims. The project is expected to boost interstate tourism and uplift the socio-economic activities in the area.

Previously, the Centre, through the Ministry of Tourism, sanctioned Rs 37.87 crore under the PRASHAD Scheme. This funding has facilitated various developmental works, including waiting halls for pilgrims, dining areas, dharamshalas, kiosks, guest houses, CC steps to Kund with railings, and more.

Mein further anticipated that after hydropower, tourism will be the biggest industry in the state that would bring sustainable development and help achieve the objective of self-reliant Arunachal Pradesh. He sought the support and guidance of the Union Minister of Tourism and Culture for the development of Tourism Industry in the state for a Viksit Arunachal Pradesh.

Mein also expressed optimism that with the support of the Minister of Tourism, stakeholders such as the VIPRA Foundation and the International Society for Parshuram Consciousness and the well-wishers, Parshuram Kund will be transformed into one of the largest pilgrimage sites in the Northeast region in the coming days.

The event was also attended by VIPRA Foundation founder Sushil Ojha, organizing chairman Ratan Sharma, organization general secretary, Jodhpur Zone, Rahul Sharma, patron and others.