Centre stays tourism in Jain shrine in Jharkhand
The Indian Government has stayed tourism activities in the Jain religious site ‘Sammed Shikharji’ in Jharkhand. The decision comes following massive protests by the community in Delhi’s India Gate on 1 January, 2023, reports Sayanti Biswas for Mint.
Jains across the country have been demanding the scrapping of a 2019 Jharkhand government notification designating Parasnath Hills as a tourist place.
The Union Environment Ministry sent a office memorandum to the state in this regard following directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav met with representatives of the Jain community over the issue earlier in the day who assured that the government is committed to maintain the sanctity of ‘Sammed Shikharji Parvat Kshetra’ which is a holy place not only for the Jain community but for the entire country.
Sammed Shikharji, located on the Parasnath Hill in Giridih district of Jharkhand, is the biggest pilgrimage centre of the Jain community.
Members of the community have been protesting against the state government’s move to promote religious tourism at Parasnath Hill.
In August 2019, the Union Environment Ministry had notified an eco-sensitive zone around the Parasnath Sanctuary and approved eco-tourism activities in pursuance of the proposal submitted by the state government.
The Ministry issued an office memorandum to the Additional Chief Secretary of the Jharkhand government’s forest department, saying the “implementation of provisions of clause 3 of the said eco-sensitive zone notification is stayed forthwith, including amongst others all tourism and eco-tourism activities”.
The state government is directed to immediately take all steps necessary to ensure the same, it said. (Source: Mint)