Uttarakhand has sought Rs.500 crore from the central government to provide facilities for pilgrims for the Ardh Kumbh Dehradun in January-April.
The central government must release the fund at the earliest to help the state go ahead with projects for pilgrims, Chief Minister Harish Rawat has written to Finance Minister Arun Jatiley.
An estimated eight crore pilgrims are expected to visit Hardiwar during the over 14 weeks of Ardh Kumbh.
Rawat said Rs.400 crore would be used for permanent structures and Rs.100 crore for temporary structures and public utilities.
“Keeping in mind the limited resources of the state government, the budget allows only Rs.350 crore from our end, and work on many things is nearing completion,” the chief minister said.
Rawat pointed out that the NITI Aayog had approved Rs. 166.67 crore to the state for the Ardh Kumbh but this had yet not been released.
The first ‘snan’ or holy bath in the Ganges is scheduled on January 14 — Makar Sankranti — and the last on April 22 on Chaitra Shukla Purnima.