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Taking que from the note book of Amar Nath Sarine Board, Jammu and Kashmir, state tourism minister, Anita Devi today assured to developed shaded nearly 90 km Kanwaria Path that falls Bhagalpur and Banka in Bihar territory with light and fan facilities from solar light system.
The minister was addressing a gathering on the occasion of inauguration of month long Shravani Mela today at the bank of river of Ganga at Sultanganj in Bhagalpur.
With the intervention of Nitish Kumar, a Kaccha Kanwaria Path was developed some two year back keeping in view the hardship of the Kanwarias (saffron-clad pilgrims who walked bare footed from Sultanganj to Deoghar in Jharkhand after fetching holly Ganga Jal to worship Lord Baidhyanath). However, the condition of the Kaccha path is not good and most parts of it remain illegally occupied by local residents. However, the tourism minister announced today to developed the Kaccha Path with shad having fans and lights so that the devotes could not face any hardship to walk to Deoghar. She also said that the state government would arrange adequate funds for the proposed plan.
The announcement however has its little impact on the Kanwarias who from different parts of the state including from abroad. “I have been witnessing such announcement for the last ten years, the government intended to introduce changes but there are many lapses on its parts,” said Vikram Thapa, a pilgrim from Nepal who every year on the first day of Shravan started holly voyage to Deoghar.
People at Sultanganj who have been demanding to declare month long Shravani Mela as a national fair, alleged government for ignoring their demand which has logically justified. “Look it is the biggest fair in the world; the 100 km long Kanwaria Path during this one month would remain crowded by the pilgrims round the clock. Just imagine the undisrupted walks of the pilgrims on it continuously 24 hours,” said Deepak Kumar, a social worker at Sultanganj. Replying over it, the state tourism minister however said that Bihar government would place the matter before the central government soon.
Lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country including neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal, travel to Sultanganj near Bhagalpur in Bihar to fetch holy water from the Ganga and trek barefoot to the Lord Baidhyanath temple at Deoghar in neighbouring Jharkhand during the holy month of Shravan every year.
Sources from local administration said that it has been regularly reviewing the preparations for the fair at Sultanganj and on the trek routes, a major part of which falls under Banka district. Personnel from road, electricity, health, public health engineering, water, food safety and information and public relations departments are involved in war level for the fair.
Top ranking officials like Bhagalpur divisional commissioner Ajay Kumar Choudhary has been monitoring the arrangements personally. All concerned officials deputed at the Mela have been directed to ensure a hassle-free pilgrimage for the devotees. Sushil Mansingh Khopde, inspector general of police has instructed all the cops on duty directed to act in a friendly manner with the devotees. “Our basic responsibility is to extend all possible help to our guests here,” pointed out a senior official here.