PM likely to lay foundation stone on August 3 or 5

Lucknow: The construction of the proposed Ram Temple in Ayodhya is likely to begin on either August 3 or August 5 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi picks one of the two dates suggested by the Ram Temple trust for the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ or ground breaking ceremony, said a trust official.

If Modi decides to come to Ayodhya for the ritual, it would be his first visit to the city after becoming PM. He had been part of the Ram Temple Movement led by the BJP and other Hindutva groups three decades ago.

Earlier, the ceremony was being planned for July 2 but it was deferred following tensions at the China-India border.

“We have suggested August 3 or 5 to the PM. The construction will begin on the date he picks as per his schedule,” Kameshwar Chaupal of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust said after a meeting of trustees in Ayodhya headed by chairperson of the trust and former bureaucrat Nirpendra Mishra.

Sharad Sharma, VHP leader, said, “Both the dates, August 3 and 5, are auspicious for bhoomi pujan as per Hindu calendar.” If PM picks August 3, it would be marked by the Raksha Bandhan festival as well.

The temple would be 161-feet high and instead of three gumbaz there would be five gumbaz now, the trust has decided, Sharma said.

Soil testing has begun for the temple by Larsen Toubro which has been roped in for the construction of the Temple. Foundations will be made on the basis of the strength of soil 60 m below.

“L&T would prepare the basic structure. Sompura marbles (which has been carving stones at Ayodhya for decades under the aegis of Ram Janmbhumi Nyas) will carry out the works related to stones and bricks,” a trustee said.

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