Context:

Five state-owned oil and gas PSUs have committed Rs 100 crore for the redevelopment of the Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand as a spiritual smart city.

Relevance:

GS-I: Art and Culture, GS-III: Industry and Infrastructure

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Badrinath Temple
  2. Char Dham Project
  3. About the move by Oil PSUs
  4. Other support extended by Oil PSUs

Badrinath Temple

  • Badrinath or Badrinarayan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu which is situated in the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand, India.
  • The temple and town form one of the four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage sites.
  • The temple is located in Garhwal hill tracks in Chamoli district along the banks of Alaknanda River.
  • The temple has three structures: the Garbhagriha (sanctum), the Darshan Mandap (worship hall), and Sabha Mandap (convention hall).
  • The Tapt Kund, a group of hot sulphur springs just below the temple, are considered to be medicinal; many pilgrims consider it a requirement to bathe in the springs before visiting the temple.

Char Dham Project

  • Char Dham Expressway National Highway is a proposed two-lane (in each direction) express National Highway in the state of Uttarakhand.
  • The proposed highway will complement the under-development Char Dham Railway by connecting the four holy places in Uttarakhand which are:
    1. Badrinath
    2. Kedarnath
    3. Gangotri
    4. Yamunotri
  • Yamunotri Dham, named after the Goddess Yamuna, is the first Dham en route the yatra.
  • Under the prestigious ‘Char Dham’ road project costing about Rs. 12,000 crores, BRO is constructing 250 km of national highway leading to the holy Hindu shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath.
  • The roads will be widened from 12m to 24m and the project will involve construction of tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways and viaducts.
  • All of these four sites are devoted to a specific deity. Gangotri is dedicated to the Goddess Ganga, Yamunotri is dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 jyotirlingas and Badrinath, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

About the move by Oil PSUs

  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), GAIL, and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) are each set to contribute about Rs 25 crore to the Badrinath Dham redevelopment project while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) are set to contribute about Rs 20 crore and Rs 5.5 crore respectively.
  • The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas announced that the state-owned oil and gas PSUs’ commitment for redevelopment of the Badrinath Dham “would help attract tourists to the state”.
  • It was also added that oil sector PSUs would also contribute to the development of Kedarnath, Uttarkashi, Yamunotri and Gangotri.
  • The goal behind this move was to make Badrinath Dham “economically self-sustaining”.

Other support extended by Oil PSUs

  • These five oil and gas sector PSUs have contributed a total of Rs 870 crore to the PM-CARES fund set up in 2020 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Oil and gas sector companies have also been participating in the effort to bolster the supply of oxygen to the worst affected areas across the country as India deals with a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
  • IOCL has imported containers and converted 14 of its LNG tankers for the transportation of oxygen and is also supplying 150 Metric tonnes (MT) of medical grade oxygen produced at its Panipat refinery to Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
  • BPCL has also started supplying 100 MT of oxygen per month to hospitals in Kerala and is gearing up to provide a total of 300 MT of oxygen to hospitals in Maharasthra and MP through production from its refineries.
  • GAIL and IOCL are also part of the government’s efforts to import medical grade oxygen to meet the oxygen requirement of covid affected areas across the country.

-Source: Indian Express

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