10 districts told to develop special Ramlila grounds

LUCKNOW: Days after it announced the construction of a Ram statue in , the state government has now issued directions to administration of 10 districts to specifically demarcate ‘Ramlila Maidans’ in their towns with high walls having murals.

While there is no word from the government on the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, it is pushing the Ram agenda in various other ways. Though the next Ramlila will be organised around Dussehra next year, the government has pushed for development of existing Ramlila grounds.

Among the directions issued is that the entry gate of the Ramlila ground should be named after towns and areas related to Ram and should be constructed in a way to depict the particular area.

In an order issued by the culture department to district magistrates of , Lucknow, , Varanasi, Chitrakoot, Ayodhya, Allahabad, Firozabad, Agra and Saharanpur, special secretary Shishir said that for the time being, the oldest Ramlila in each district should be identified and a proposal for giving the Ramlila ground a definite structure be submitted through the district magistrate.

A committee comprising the DM as chairperson will assess the proposals and subsequently, once work is complete, decide on the rent, etc, of the space. Other members will be additional DM, SDM, three representatives of Ramlila committees, district information officer, local tourism officer and a representative of the culture department.

“The Ramlila ground should be demarcated on the basis of revenue records, inputs from Ramlila committees and traditional usage of the space. Boundary walls of 6-8 feet should be constructed around the ground and decorated with murals which should identify the ground as a in an artistic way,” the order says.

It adds that an entry gate for each ground should be constructed and named after an area intrinsic to the life of Lord Ram, such as Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Mithila, Janakpur and Panchvati.

The gate should be structured like the place it has been named after.

In consultation with Ramlila committees, a stage depicting Ayodhya, Lanka or Chitrakoot should be made within the ground where adequate arrangement should be made for drinking water and power.

The department has said that once developed, the ground will be handed over to the Ramlila committee only on the condition that it will be used for other cultural events as well apart from Ramlila. The rent to be charged will be decided by the committee headed by the DM while no rent will be charged for events organised by the culture department or DMs.
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