New Delhi: The Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on Tuesday (June 8, 2021) reopened for devotees. The negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report is not mandatory for devotees now but they will have to follow social distancing and other COVID appropriate protocols.
The general public, however, has not been allowed near the ‘garbhagriha’.
In view of the second wave of coronavirus in the country, the entry of devotees in Kashi Vishwanath, which is one of the most famous Lord Shiva’s temples across India, was prohibited in April.
This is to be noted that the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been eased in Varanasi on Monday as the number of coronavirus cases are declining. Uttar Pradesh recorded 797 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours and now has 14,000 active cases. The positivity rate in the state stands at 0.2 per cent, while the recovery rate has improved to 97.9 per cent.
Earlier in the last week of May, there were reports that the work on the prestigious Kashi Vishwanath Dham corridor project is likely to be delayed due to coronavirus.
The project was initially slated to be completed by August, but will now be reportedly completed by November. The new features added to the project like the Ganga View Point will be delayed further as approval from the state government is pending.
“The official leading the team of the company executing the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project has tested COVID-19 positive. Besides, a large number of labourers, including those from West Bengal, left for home after the surge in COVID-19 cases. Moreover, the agency had to reduce manpower for maintaining social distancing at sites as per COVID protocol. Hence, the work has been affected. We are now confident of completing work by November 15,” divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal said on May 25.
PWD executive engineer Sanjay Gore, who is supervising the project, said, “A total of 24 buildings are proposed in KV Dham area. Structural work of 12 buildings has been fully completed while work on 12 others is in progress. Construction of jetty and its retaining wall at Manikarnika, Jalasen and Lalita ghats has also been completed. In total, 53 per cent of the work on the project has already been completed.”
The work of over Rs 600 crore KV Dham project was also impacted during the nationwide lockdown in 2020.
The project has cleared all barriers after approval from the Yogi Adityanath-led government in December 2017 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid its foundation in March 2018.
(With agency inputs)