Even after the Supreme Court giving the go-ahead to the uplift of the Dhari Devi temple by the Alaknanda Hydro Power Company Ltd (AHPCL), no work has been started on this yet.
According to Hindu beliefs, ritual tasks like installing the idol of the goddess cannot be undertaken when astrologically Jupiter is descendant. As Jupiter is slated to ascend after July 4, the priests of the temple have said that the uplift work will be allowed on July 10 or July 14.
Due to confrontation between villagers and the company, no work could be started during the past 15 days and now the company is uncertain about finishing the construction of the boundary wall of the temple before the start of the rainy season. District Magistrate Chandresh Yadav inspected the premises of the Dhari Devi temple and the work.
Prior to the verdict of the Supreme Court, the temple committee members had told the district administration that there is no safety wall around the shrine which could be damaged by flooding in the rainy season. There is no option except shifting the idol of Goddess Dhari and other idols. Yadav said that the temple committee can shift the idol anywhere on their discretion for the safety of the idol, but it should be open for devotees and the approach road should be maintained.
Although the dispute between the protesting villagers and company was resolved after AHPCL paid Rs six lakh to each family affected in the area by the power project along with an assurance of rehabilitation, the uplifting of the shrine cannot be undertaken this month. The temple priest affirmed that the shifting will not be undertaken before the rise of Jupiter.
Due to the pre-monsoon rains, the water level of the Alaknanda river has increased a little, but if the rains continue at such or greater intensity, the shrine could be damaged by the rising waters of the Alaknanda. The area around the shrine on the rock cliff was submerged last year during the rains due to which priests had to use boats to the shrine.
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