Shimla, April 18
A proposal for the conservation of the ancient temples, which get submerged in the Gobind Sagar Lake in Bilaspur every year, could take shape as a Rs 1,400-crore proposal to undertake in situ conservation has been chalked out.
Now, only eight temples become visible in the lake when the water subsides as many more have been lost due to decay over the last more than half a century. The entire town of old Bilaspur got submerged in the lake in 1964 to pave the way for the Bhakra Dam.
- In the first phase, three temples will be conserved
- In the second phase, a recreational space is proposed to be made on the submerged Sandu ground, where the old Bilaspur town existed
- The proposal includes creation of an amphitheater, walking trails and auditorium
- The third phase includes creation of an artificial lake where water sports activities will be undertaken
There were 28 temples in all but now only eight remain. Of the remaining eight temples, three main temples, which will be conserved after the reclamation of the land and the creation of an artificial island, are Rangnath, Khaneshwar and Nardehswar.
With Bilaspur being the hometown of the BJP national chief, officials are hopeful that funding will not be an issue as they have discussed the proposal with JP Nadda.
“The proposal to conserve the remaining eight temples has been prepared and in the first phase, the main temples will be lifted on an artificially created island so that they do not get submerged even when the water level rises,” revealed Pankaj Rai, Deputy Commissioner, Bilaspur. He added that a foot overbridge would also be constructed so that people could visit these temples to offer prayers.
A pre-feasibility report has been prepared by Larsen and Toubro for the Himachal Pradesh Road Infrastructure Corporation for undertaking the conservation of the ancient stone temples.
The basic idea is to undertake their in situ conservation at the same time and not relocate them as per the earlier proposals for which land had even been identified.
“We plan to create an artificial island at Nale ke Naun, on which three main temples will be lifted so they do not get submerged and remain visible,” revealed Pawan
Sharma, Chief Engineer, HP Infrastructure Corporation. He added that Rs 105 crore would be incurred for the reclamation of about five acres of land on which the temples would be lifted.