Karsevakpuram slows down as BJP 'dumps' temple demand

Carved stones are seen at the Ram Janmabhomi Nyas-run workshop at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya. (PTI File Photo)

With the BJP virtually abandoning its demand for the construction of Ram Mandir, the work at Karsevakpuram here for a 'grand temple’ has hit a roadblock.

The number of artisans, whose strength was around 100 when the work started in the ‘karyashala’ of this temple town in the early 1990s, has now dwindled to 4-5. Only about 50% of the work by the artisans is complete and it is still a long way to go for its completion.

It is another matter that even if the work is completed, the temple construction will entirely depend on the Supreme Court nod.

The rows of huge, ornately carved Bansipad pink sandstones from the quarries near Agra, stacked on open grounds, sport dark patches. Rows of neatly arranged bricks with 'Sree Ram’ engraved on them are developing cracks.

Funds crunch

Karsevakpuram is promoted by Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, a trust formed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to oversee construction of the temple. The Nyas was formed in 1993 after the Babri Masjid was razed in December 1992.

After more than two decades of its starting, the workshop is facing financial hurdles. Funds flow is said have slowed down as the BJP has dumped its temple demand.

“The plan is for a three-storey temple. We have so far completed work to build up to the first floor. Once we get the go ahead, the work will be hastened for the second floor,” Annu Bhai Sompura, in-charge of the workshop, told DH on Tuesday at Karsevakpuram. He admits that there is a funds crunch and currently the work is on with contributions from devotees.

According to him, the plan is to construct a temple that would be 268 ft long, 140 ft wide and 128 ft high till the apex point (kalash) and will have a total of 212 finely-carved pillars. There would be 106 pillars in each floor. The workshop also houses a wooden model of a ‘proposed Ram temple’ in a glass encasement.

Beeline of visitors

“The door frames and the floor of the temple will be of marble. The kalash will be of stone but will be gold-plated,” says Sompura, who hails from Gujarat, pointing out that should the SC give the go-ahead, it would take 4-5 years to complete the work.

About 1,000 people visit Karsevakpuram every day and it has become a second halting point after a visit to the high-security make-shift temple.

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