Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP)—the highest body of sadhus, sants, mahatmas and sanyasis—here on Saturday strongly opposed the proposed development of residential areas near Kshipra river in view of Simhastha Fair-2028. Without naming any minister of Madhya Pradesh, the ABAP said if a few ministers continue to fulfil their vested interests, Ujjain may be deprived of hosting the Simhastha Fair as there would be an acute shortage of land. “We will not allow implementation of provisions of Master Plan-2035 if they facilitate builders, colonisers and land mafia to flourish in Ujjain,” the ABAP said.
In a joint press conference at Barnagar Road located Shri Niranjani Akhara, the ABAP chief Mahant Ravindra Puri and general secretary Mahant Hari Giri though seconded the developmental activities, including the expansion and beautification of Mahakaleshwar Temple premises, being carried out in Ujjain, but expressed displeasure on the sorry state of river Kshipra and large encroachments done on the Simhastha Fair land. Ravindra Puri said that more than 6,000 hectares of land will be required for the Simhastha Fair-2028, but looking at the existing situation it will be quite difficult to host the mega religious fair. “Government should first remove all illegal encroachments and unauthorised constructions from the camp sites and acquire sufficient land for parking of vehicles and other arrangements,” he said adding that if land is available at a reasonable rate the akharas will purchase them from the concerned farmers and even from the colonisers.
MAHANT HARI GIRI | FP Photo
Mahant Hari Giri appeared quite offensive on the issue of Simhastha Fair and Kshipra river. “We have written so many letters to all the concerned political and administrative authorities, but nothing concrete has been done so far in this direction. These issues cannot be left on ABAP or a particular person who is not the domicile of Ujjain. Local people would have to come forward to fight such issues. ABAP together with the people may launch a massive agitation which will certainly compel the CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan and PM Narendra Modi to bow down,” the firebrand sanyasi told the reporters. He said that some ministers want to facilitate the builder mafia to develop colonies on the banks of river Kshipra, but if this happens it will be almost impossible to host Simhastha in Ujjain. “Every stakeholder should think that Simhastha brings huge money and resources every 12 years in Ujjain and thus its sanctity must be preserved,” he added.