Rajnath dreams of a Bamiyan in UP

Sunita Aron
(Lucknow, June 1)

UP CHIEF Minister Rajnath Singh has a dream: to build the tallest Buddha statue in the country. A statue, taller than the Bamiyan Buddhas which were destroyed in Afghanistan.

Made of concrete and iron, the 170-ft statue will be covered with red Chunar stone. If Rajnath does manage to realise his dream, the second tallest statue in the State will stand a distant 12 feet tall.

Singh's project is seen as an answer to Mayawati's Rs 100 crore Ambedkar Park project in Lucknow.

An emotionally charged Chief Minister had thundered on Amedkar Jayanti day, "UP will soon have a statute of Lord Buddha, taller than the ones destroyed in Bamiyan."

Officials in the government are doing everything possible to make sure that the CM's pet project comes through. They have even decided to make a 30-feet model with plaster of Paris, costing Rs 25 lakh.

Then began the hunt for a sculptor and a suitable piece of land for the Buddha statue. The Government soon zeroed in on Ganapati Stapaty, a South Indian sculptor who made the 120-ft statue in Kanyakumari.

About 35-40 acres near Sarnath in Varanasi has been identified for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 15 crore.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 4, 2001
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