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Akshardham temple issue takes political colour

Dharamsala: The Akshardham temple, proposed to be set up either at Sidhbadi or Khanyara, both in the outskirts of main-town Dharamsala, is making headlines even without the project being finalized. The proposal made by the Akshardham Society to set up a temple complex in the area has left local leaders squabbling, with some of them seeing political gains and other monetary benefit.

Everyday one set of leaders announce that the temple would come other at one site and the next day another set declare that it would come up at the other location. While both the places are not far off from main-town Dharamsala, the sentiment among the local people is that they do not want the temple to be built over their land as everyone knows that 100 kanals of land has been asked for by the management of the temple committee and it’s certain that poor people have small land holdings stand to loose their precious agricultural land.

The survey which was conducted last year by the management of the temple for selecting site for the project had preferred Sidhbadi area near Tapovan, but now when the time has come to finalize transfer of land, the government is still weighing its options. Industries minister Kishan Kapur, a resident of Khanyara, is pushing for the site to be changed to Khanyara. Few days ago he flew to Delhi for talks with the deciding committee of Akshardham temple and upon returning he announced it formally in front of press that they have agreed to change the site.

On the other hand, Nagrota Bagwan MLA and former minister GS Bali has been criticizing the government for taking a decision to provide 100 kanals of land for the temple, which he reasons should have been given to the central university now coming up at two different places.

On the other hand, local people are of the view that as long as the government provides forest land or government land for the same, they have no issues, but if in any case the government decides to acquire their lands for the temple they would not hesitate to protest.

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Author: ih

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