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Jain devotes are literary shocked after reaching Bhagalpur and witness how Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan here became totally flopped as their sacred place is surrounded with dirty drain waters!
Jain devotees from different parts of the country as well as from abroad who started arriving at Shri Champanagar Digamber Jain Siddha Kshetra Bada Mandir is located at Nathnagar locality here on the occasion of Dashlaksha Parava (a special festival for the Jains) have a bitter experience. They all turns annoyed to witness their sacred place surrounded with filthy drain waters.
Storing of drain waters mostly from nearby Kavirpur locality for over more than last four years, on the road on which this temple, considered as most sacred place in the world for the Jain devotes, also reduced the numbers of the devotees gradually.
Mandir management lambasted Bhagalpur municipal corporation (BMC) for its failure to remote the drain waters from the main entrance of the temple as thousands of devotees from different corner of the country as well as from abroad along with Jain Saints avoid to visit the place having very prominent religious significances.
“Dashalaksha Parava has started here from September 14 besides Chaturmas (a special ritual) has been started here from last week of July and many renowned Saints along with large number of devotees who used to visit the place, virtually left it abandoned mainly due to the problem of water logging surrounding the temple. Those who come, left the place in midway while cut short their rituals,” pointed out Sunil Jain, secretary of the temple.
According to him prominent among the Saints, Viprayan Sagar Maharaj, Sadhwi Garimamati, left the place recently with large number of devotees. “They came to stay here but left the place within 2-3 days mainly due to the dirty water loggings and the bed smell all around the place,” Jain pointed out. He gave recent reference of returning back a group of pilgrims from different parts of the country having 150 women besides male devotees on August 3 last after staying only 2 days here.
This place is quite ancient and historic Teerth Kshetra (place of salvation of the 12 th Teerthanker Vasupoojya) . “ It is the only ‘Panch Kalyanaka Kshetra’ in the world as it is believed that 12th Teerthankar Bhagwan Vasupoojya (The first ascetic saint) received the ingredients of Panch Kalyanaka, Garbha, Janma, Tapa, Gyan and Moksha in this place,” said Behari Lal Choudhary, a senior teacher in the faculty of history in Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University.
According to Choudhary this place known as Champapur was the capital of ‘Anga Janpada’. The Anga Janpada was one of the 52 Janpadas established by Adi Teerthankar Bhagwan Rishabh Deo. Champapur also existed as Maha Janpada among the six Maha Janpadas during the time of Bhagwan Mahaveer Swami. This place is famous as the three Chaturmasa period of Bhagwan Mahaveer during his Dikshakal, religious propagation centre of Anga-Banga-Magadh-Vaishali, test of modesty of Sati Subhadra and Anantmati, Aahardan to Bhagwan Mahaveer by Sati Chandan Bala. Champapur is also related to great stories of origin of Harivansha, Shripal-Mainasundari, Shri Dharma Ghosh Muni, King Karna of Mahabharata, King Mudrak and great architect Vishvakarma, he said with the historical evidences.
“After a gap of some 6 year we come to stay at Champapur (Bhagalpur) to stay at least 8 days for conducting rituals. But the prevailing unhygienic surroundings and the dirty waterlogging compelled to return back within 2 days,” said Sunita Jain a middle aged devotee from Ahmadabad. Sunita came here with her daughter and her children who live at USA and came here only for the purpose of the rituals.
Sunil Jain alleged despite the visits of senior bureaucrats and two state urban development ministers of Bihar, at the temple there is no solution yet for the storage of drain waters.
Rajesh Kumar, divisional commissioner also expressed his concerned over it and said the administration has put the problem on priority. According to Pradip Jain, a local social worker said earlier the drains used to clear the water from Kavirpur locality to the main drain nearby railway underpass. But since people of Raghopur locality near the railway underpass blocked the drain mainly to protect their areas from water loggings, the situation compounded more.
S B Meena, town commissioner, BMC however blamed the previous tendering process for construction and renovations works at the locality. “Before my joining here the technical wing of state urban development department, Patna rejected tenders related to construction of drain and road
at that area more than 4 times. Besides, one contractor who earlier was disqualified by the department, filed a write at High court, Patna. How we start work when the matter is pending at High court,” Meena expressed his helplessness.
However Meena admitted that for completing the construction of drain and road, the project of Rs 3.40 crore could easily been done by BMC itself from its consultancy funds but his approached was rejected by the ward councilors in the board of meeting of BMC. “Now we have two options, either to wait for High court’s decision or to start work there after conversion from Smart City funds. I am scheduled to place the matter at the next meeting of the board of directors of Smart City,Bhagalpur,” Meena said.
“It’s really contradiction in the smart city here- big claims by the government on Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan exposed here. Government should initiate for the years long problem at this internationally acclaimed pilgrim center here,” said Anil Kumar, a business man here.