Debjit Mukherjee: A proposal by the Yogi Adityanath government to build a corridor around the famous Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district, on the lines of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor project in Varanasi, is facing strong opposition from local residents who say they will be displaced, and their daily lives disrupted by the proposed project. Priests and shopkeepers are writing letters to the Chief Minister with their blood, requesting him to shelve the project.
Markets in the area have been shut for two days now, and temple priests have also come out in support of local residents. The matter has reached the court too — the Allahabad High Court is hearing the matter. The Supreme Court will also hear it later this month.
The state government will acquire five acres of land around the iconic temple, which houses around 300 temples and residential buildings, where people have lived for hundreds of years. These 300 buildings will reportedly be demolished if the corridor is built.
Protesting residents say that they have been worshipping the deity by building temples in their homes for hundreds of years, and their faith will be hurt if those are demolished. After the order of the High Court on the corridor, the District Magistrate of Mathura formed an eight-member committee and conducted a survey of more than 200 buildings around the temple, and marked them.