Bhopal, July 9 (SocialNews.XYZ) The High Court of Madhya Pradesh has suspended construction works on a 108ft tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya to be built on a 54ft tall platform at Omkareshvara in Khandwa district.
The divisional bench headed by Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Vishal Mishra also issued an advisory to the state government and demanded a response in view of the damage done to nature and neglect of local public faith .
The court’s decision came during the hearing of a petition challenging the construction of the “Statue of Unity” (Adi Shankaracharya), an ambitious project of the BJP-led state government.
The petitioner – Lokhit Abhiyan Samiti (an NGO based in Indore) had opposed the felling of trees and the excavation of the mountain.
During the hearing, the councilor representing the NGO argued that “the cutting of a number of trees and the digging of the mountain for the construction of the ‘Statue of Unity’ would damage the natural beauty of the region”.
During the hearing, the court issued a notice to the state government and asked for a response in view of the damage caused to nature and the neglect of local public faith by this project.
The court also requested a response from the Khandwa Collector, DFO and Revenue Officer and the State Department of Archaeology.
Notably, Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet had approved a proposal to build a 108-foot-tall statue of 8th-century Indian philosopher Adi Shankaracharya, along with a museum dedicated to him and an international Advaita Vedanta Sansthan in Omkareshwar for a cost. of Rs 2141 crore.
Shankaracharya is known for consolidating the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, a school of Hindu philosophy. On November 5 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 12ft statue of Shankaracharya at Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand.
The project is constructed under the supervision of the Culture and Tourism Department of Madhya Pradesh on the hill of Mandhata Parvat facing the Narmada River in Khandwa.