India's top oil PSUs - IOC, ONGC, GAIL, BPCL and HPCL - on Thursday committed Rs 100 crore for the redevelopment of Badrinath Dham, one of the holiest shrines of Hindus, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
"It is a matter of great pride for our oil PSUs to be associated with the redevelopment of one of the holiest shrines of Sanatan Dharma. We are committed to the development of Badrinath Dham in alignment with PM @narendramodi's vision of retaining the pilgrimages spiritual legacy," Pradhan tweeted.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), GAIL (India) Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) "have committed Rs 100 crore towards the Badrinath development master plan and will be undertaking several works for the beautification of the temple & its surroundings, including pilgrim and environment-friendly amenities, water supply, sewage management, among others," he said.
This is perhaps the first time top PSUs under one administrative ministry have committed funds for developing a religious shrine.
"The holy Badrinath Dham is not only a centre of faith for crores of Hindus across the world it is also a major centre of India's pilgrimage economy with a great potential to facilitate regional economic development, generate employment and improve quality of lives," he said.
An official statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, which was verbatim issued by IOC as well, said a memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed between oil and gas PSUs - IOC, BPCL, HPCL, ONGC and GAIL and Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust for construction and redevelopment of Shri Badrinath Dham as a Spiritual Smart hill Town.
The MoUs were signed in the presence of the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, Pradhan and Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj.
"As per the MoUs, the oil and gas PSUs will be contributing Rs 99.60 crore in the first phase of the developmental activities, including river embankment work, building all-terrain vehicular path, building bridges, beautifying existing bridges, establishing gurukul facilities with accommodation, creating toilet and drinking water facilities, installing streetlights, mural paintings etc," the statement said.
Pradhan said that Char Dham is close to millions of Indians, due to spiritual, religious and cultural reasons. "The oil and gas PSUs will not only contribute to the development work of the Badrinath but are also part of the development of Kedarnath, Uttarkashi, Yamunotri and Gangotri."
"Oil & gas PSUs have pledged Rs 100 crore to the Badrinath development master plan and will undertake works for development and beautification of the pilgrimage centre, including water supply, sewage management and facilitating environmental-friendly pilgrim facilities, among others," the ministry said.
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