Omkareshwar: With Narmada conservation drive entering Omkareshwar on Thursday, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan opened up a kitty for the holy town which Adi Shankaracharya had visited.
He announced a slew of measures for development of Omkareshwar, including waiving of entry tax, and a light and sound show highlighting history of the town.
‘Namami Devi Narmade – Sewa Yatra’ was started on December 11 last year from Amarkantak, the place of Narmada’s origin. It will cover 1,831 km on southern bank comprising 548 villages/towns and 1,513 km on northern bank comprising of 556 village/towns, thus covering 3,344 kms in 144 days. Nearly half of the yatra would be covered through foot march. This awareness campaign will end on May 11 this year.
Addressing the programme here, Chouhan said the government was planning to set up an institute here to spread knowledge about Adi Shankaracharya, and include a course on the great saint in school syllabus.
“A grand statue of Adi Shankaracharya would be put up in the town to make people aware about his great journey that ended at the age of 32.”
“It was in Omkareshwar where the young Shankar met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada in a cave and attained highest spiritual elevations. He founded the four mutts (monasteries), which helped the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta,” Chouhan said.
On demand from the saint community, he also announced to ensure regulated flow of water in Narmada at various places round the year.
He said the state government had already decided to shut liquor shops within five kilometre of Narmada river banks.
Highlighting steps taken for conservation of Narmada, he said the government had allocated Rs 1,500 crore for setting up sewage treatment plants in 15 towns on the banks of the river.
He said all towns and villages on Narmada’s banks would be open defecation free and a dense plantation would be carried out there to increase water retention capacity.
Terming Narmada as lifeline of MP, Chouhan said, “It is not merely a river, it is a cradle of civilisation and represents a complete culture. This divine and mystique river has been glorified even by the Vedas. It is worshipped as Mother Goddess Narmada for ages.” The function was also addressed by noted saint Awdheshanandji, Sadhvi Rithambara and filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi, among others.
Earlier, Chouhan visited Bhagwan Jyotirlinga accompanied by his wife. He prayed for peace and prosperity of the people of the state. He also visited the ancient cave of Adi Shankaracharya on the bank of the Narmada.
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