A proposal by the UP government to build a 100-metre tall statue of Lord Ram has stirred up a storm. 

Being cited as an initiative to promote religious tourism in the state, the proposal has been receiving a lot of flak online. 

The "grand statue" which is to be built on the banks of river Sarayu is a part of creating a "Navya Ayodhya",  presentation of which was made to Governor Ram Naik. 

According to Indian Express, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that the proposal was only conceptual and a clearance from National Green Tribunal is required for the execution. 

"Yes there is a proposal for a Ram statue in Ayodhya. It is at a conceptual stage right now, there are many other proposals for different tourist destinations across Uttar Pradesh and this is one of them. If you go to Bali in Indonesia, you will find many such statues around and our idea is to give a boost to tourism in the area," Avanish Awasthi was quoted as saying by NDTV.

The presentation also proposed building a Ram Katha gallery on the banks of the river, a multi-purpose auditorium in the Digambar Akhara premises and other public utilities that would cost Rs 195.89 crore in total, the report further stated. The Tourism Ministry at the Centre has already sanctioned Rs 133.70 crore to the state.  

Besides, programmes for Diwali celebrations have also been scheduled in Ayodhya on October 18 that would include lighting of 1.71 lakh earthen lamps, a laser show on Ram's journey from Sri Lanka to Ayodhya and a heritage walk, among many. 

The programmes are expected to be attended by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Ram Naik, Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma who will also lay the foundation stone for various other projects. 

(Feature image source: PTI)