Rajasthan government has come forward to address the shortfall of pink stones that are being used for the construction of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. In a major initiative taken by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, the lease at Banshi Pahadpur near Bharatpur has been approved. Legal mining will now take place in the area to ensure that there is no shortage of pink stones for the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
The state government has procured 398 hectares of land from the Forest Department, with the approval of the central ministry. Lease for the area will now be processed and 70 mining blocks will be alloted in the area through e-auction. Earlier also, a large consignment of stones has been sent to the construction area in Ayodhya, but there was a shortfall since authorised mining area was limited in the Bharatpur zone, which is the main source of this stone.
Banshi Paharpur, which is abundant in pink-red stones, is a forest area and comes under the purview of the Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate. Stringent measures were taken by the state government in 2020, to curtail the illegal extraction of stone by mining mafia. The state government had given a proposal to the central government to permit separation of 398 hectares of land from the forest zone, to permit mining and legal extraction of stone. This proposal was accepted on 11 June.
The demarkation of the mining area so alloted will be completed by the end of this month, following which 70 mining blocks will be allotted through e-auction. Legal mining will begin immediately once the block are allotted. This allottment and legal mining will ensure a revenue of Rs 500 Crore per year to the state treasury. A substantial amount of employment will be generated as a result of this as well.