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The Oil and Gas PSUs including Indian Oil, ONGC, HPCL, BPCL, and GAIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust (SBUCT) on Thursday for redevelopment and beautification of Shri Badrinath Dham as Spiritual Smart Hill Town. The agreements were signed in the presence of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, Union Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaaz, and other senior officials.
The MoU was signed by Secretary Tourism Dilip Jawalkar on behalf of Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust and Secretary Tarun Kapoor on behalf of the Petroleum Ministry.
As per the signed agreement, the Oil and Gas PSUs will be contributing nearly 100 Crore for the development activities in Badrinath. This will include building all-terrain vehicular paths, river embankment work, bridges, Beautifying existing bridges, Establishing gurukul facilities with accommodation, creating toilet and drinking water facilities, installing streetlights, etc.
On the occasion, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said, “Combine efforts of Uttarakhand Government and Oil & Gas PSUs will help speed up the work of Shri Badrinath Dham which will result in the completion of work in less time.”
Union Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Char Dham is close to millions of Indians, due to spiritual, religious and cultural reasons. Signing this MOU is a significant milestone in the direction of PM Narendra Modi's vision of developing Shri Badrinath shrine as a smart and spiritual city, without compromising on the religious sanctity and mythological importance of the region.”
He further added that the development of sites like Badrinath would also help in attracting more tourists, which in turn would strengthen the economy of the state.
Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj said, “The government is committed to provide better and comfortable facilities to the devotees who visit Char Dham every year. It is a means of employment and livelihood for millions of people which is why we are developing homestays in the state which will result in giving affordable facilities to pilgrims and employment in rural areas. Special focus will be given to save the environment amid the reconstruction of Shri Badrinath Dham."
Secretary Tourism Dilip Jawalkar informed that the expansion of hospitals is proposed in the first phase of the MoU along with riverfront development, strengthening of embarkment, etc
Chief Secretary Omprakash, GMVN General Manager Jitendra Kumar with other officials were also present on the occasion.
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