The Chardham Fund will also be formed after the formation of the Chardham Shrine Board. The Shrine Board Management Bill 2019 will be brought by the government in the assembly session starting on 4 December. The formation of the board will lead to the planned management and development of the four dhams. Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat has termed the apprehensions of the pilgrims and rightful holders due to the formation of the Shrine Board as baseless.
He says that the rights of all have been fully protected. Traditions have been taken care of. The Rawls and priests of the temples will be appointed according to the already existing traditions. The interests of the tirtha priests have been ensured. Future generation facilities will also be protected. The priests of the four Dham will also be represented on the board.
The government claims that this currently sees the arrangement of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee, Badrinath and Kedarnath temples under the British Carpet Act of 1939. While there are separate committees for Gangotri and Yamunotri. These committees are limited to their respective temples only. Due to this, there is a lack of coordination among them. The Trivendra government felt that this was causing problems in the planned development and management of the four dhams.
Millions of devotees who come in lakhs have to face a lot of problems. Bringing the management of the four dhams under one umbrella board will not only enhance coordination but also will improve the facilities for pilgrims.
The old system changed due to current needs
The system being governed by the 80-year-old Act has been changed by the government due to changing needs in the current environment. The efforts of the government have greatly improved the basic facilities in the temples. Road and air connectivity have increased. Soon the Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail line will start. In a few years, the number of devotees coming to Chardham will cross 1 crore. The government says that in such a situation the arrangements are being changed accordingly.
Shrine board is being built on the lines of Vaishno Devi
The government decided to set up the Chardham Shrine Board after a thorough study of the arrangements of Vaishno Devi and Tirupati Balaji. The study found that after the establishment of the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board in 1986, there has been a significant improvement in the travel arrangements there.
The focus will also be on other temples
The government is currently focused on Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. There was also no arrangement for the temples adjacent to the Char Dham. The devotees return only after seeing them. By taking other temples under the Shrine Board, devotees will get information about the mythological significance of the place. This will increase livelihood opportunities for the people and improve the local economy.
Shrine board will increase employment opportunities
After the formation of the Shrine Board, all the existing committees will be absorbed. The staff of the committees will continue to work as before. New positions will be created due to the wide scope of work of the board. This will provide employment opportunities for local youth. With this, all the temples will have planned development.