The new stairway to Pahadi Mandir in Ranchi . Pictures by Hardeep Singh
A road, elevators, rainwater harvesting system, proper drainage and ample greenery — Ranchi’s Pahadi Mandir is set for its second round of makeover courtesy Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA).
The second phase of beautification of the hill in the heart of the capital envisages a lot more than what the first phase achieved last financial year. The facelift then meant construction of a 300 feet road, erecting a fence to keep away encroachers and building a portion of a boundary wall that will finally encircle the foot of the hill.
Now, plans are to build a 1500ft road from the base of the hill to the top to allow vehicles to make their way up, a move that will immensely benefit senior citizens and physically challenged visitors who have to negotiate 400 steps to reach the temple at present.
The road promises to be pothole-free, thanks to plans of directing rainwater rushing down the hillside into strategically constructed drains to prevent soil erosion. Also in the pipeline is a rainwater harvesting system.
Elevators will ferry elderly visitors who would not have to walk from the point till where vehicles will be allowed to the temple.
RRDA officials said the urban development department has already sanctioned Rs 2.38 crore for the second phase and the work has to be executed in this financial year. In the first phase, the regional body had been given Rs 45 lakh only.
Work is expected to start in October, with RRDA waiting for BIT-Mesra to submit its blueprint in the next few days, following which tenders would be floated for the different tasks.
“While the drains will help prevent soil erosion, the rainwater harvesting structures will raise the water table of the entire area, benefiting local residents,” an official said.
Pahadi Mandir receives over a lakh of devotees in the holy month of Shravan, while no less than 3,000 footfalls are recorded every other normal day. At present, a straight staircase leads to the temple located on the top of the hill, posing a challenge for the elderly and the handicapped.
Two years ago, the district administration on the orders of Jharkhand High Court had conducted anti-encroachment drives and evicted illegal settlers from the foothills. The boundary wall to come up at the base of the hill will keep away encroachers permanently.
“The blueprint from BIT-Mesra is ready and is expected to come to us anytime after the Assembly session is over. Soon after that, the second phase of the beautification will kick off,” said Vinay Kumar Choubey, vice chairman of RRDA, adding that the forest department had agreed to carry out plantation work on the hill to turn it green.