Maharashtra Road Development Agency to conserve ancient temples
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the Maharashtra government’s benchmark infrastructure development agency, on Saturday issued a tender for conservation work on ancient temples across the state.
The MSRDC tender, controlled by the Department of Public Works, solicits proposals for the conservation of eight temples in the first phase.
“Almost 100 crore has been sanctioned for this purpose in the budget. We have issued calls for tenders and proposals have been solicited for the conservation of the temples. Among the proposals received, we will select one. It will be reviewed by a committee of senior IAS officials, ”said Chandrakant Pulkundwar, deputy director general of MSRDC.
MSRDC executive engineer SS Jagtap said the plan included adding equipment for worshipers at these temples. The PWD, led by Congressman Ashok Chavan, had issued a government resolution on December 30, 2020 for the project.
The temples on which work will be undertaken in the first phase are Dhootpapeshwar in Rajapur, Ratnagiri; Kopeshwar in Kolhapur; Ekvira temple in Lonavala; Gondeshwar in Nashik; Khandoba Temple in Aurangabad; Bhagwan Purshottam Temple in Beed; Anandeshwar in Daryapur in Amravati and Shiv temple in Gadchiroli. All are frequented by thousands of pilgrims as well as tourists in normal times.
A senior government official said that while some of the popular temples are well maintained, the lesser known ones need to be preserved and therefore the MSRDC has received funding.
Some of these temples are on the protected list of the state department of archeology. The government is concerned that this department has been excluded from the project, although the task of conservation requires a high degree of specialization and is best left to experts. However, the senior official dismissed those concerns and said the MSRDC would hire conservation experts to oversee the work.
The MSRDC was established by then PWD Minister Nitin Gadkari under the 1995 Shiv Sena-BJP regime. Its main task was to build the Mumbai-Pune highway and 55 flyovers in Mumbai. Recently, he bagged many large-scale projects in the state, including the construction of the Bhavan Sales Tax at Wadala in Mumbai.