Ulwe: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will attend the foundation stone laying ceremony for Lord Shri Venkateswara Temple in Ulwe on Wednesday, June 7. The temple, designed as a replica of the famous Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh, aims to provide devotees in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, with a local place of worship.
The event is scheduled to take place from 6:30 am to 7 pm at plot number 3 in sector 12, Ulwe. The temple project was initiated by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the largest Hindu temple conglomerate in the world, in response to the demand from devotees who were unable to visit the Tirupati temple for various reasons.
The location of the temple near the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) has raised concerns among environmental activists. Initially planned for August 21, 2022, the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony was postponed at the last moment. However, the temple construction has now been given the green light on the allotted 10-acre land in sector 12, Ulwe, which was provided by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) in April 2022.
Plot acquisition in phases
The plot, currently serving as a casting yard for the MTHL project under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), will be repossessed by CIDCO as approved by the MMRDA. The acquisition of the plot will occur in phases between March and September 2023.
The decision to select the Ulwe location, near the upcoming international airport and with good connectivity to surrounding cities in Navi Mumbai, was made after inspection and discussion involving TTD officials and Maharashtra government representatives. Former Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray instructed CIDCO to send the proposal for land allotment to the state government for approval.
In February 2022, TTD President Subba Reddy wrote a letter requesting the state government's approval for the temple construction near Navi Mumbai International Airport. Subsequently, the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed CIDCO to initiate the process of land allocation.
The foundation stone laying ceremony signifies an important milestone in the development of the Shri Lord Venkateswara Temple and its mission to provide a local place of worship for devotees in Maharashtra.