| A labourer works on a 12ft statue at the Buddha Smriti Park on Sunday. Picture by Piyush Kumar Tripathi |
The beautification work at Buddha Smriti Park, which would host the Buddhist Sangha Conference in January, is in its final lap.
The January 5 to 7 event, hitherto a feature at Bodhgaya or Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh), would be inaugurated by Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama.
Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) is redeveloping the construction area on the south-east corner of the park. A water pump and an electric transformer in front of the multi-level parking would be shifted out of the premises.
All structural works on the multi-level parking lot have been completed and a boundary wall has been erected to separate the parking from the premises. Over 1,000 champa trees are being planted to beautify the landscape. Son et lumière and laser shows would be a part of the event. Labourers were seen working on the electrical installations.
Nitish had visited the shrine on December 10 to review the preparations ahead of the Buddhist conference and had provided suggestions regarding the preparations. He had also instructed officials concerned to make adequate arrangement to ensure a hassle-free stay for the visitors.
Principal secretary to the chief minister, Anjani Kumar Singh, had reviewed the work on December 13. According to sources, Anjani was satisfied with the progress.
The Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) is organising the conference. BUIDCo, the art, culture and youth affairs department, and Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) are looking after the corresponding preparations.
Sources said BSTDC would be providing financial assistance of around Rs 30 lakh to BTMC for the event.
BTMC member secretary Nangzey Dorjee told The Telegraph: “Chief guest, The Dalai Lama, would inaugurate the conference. The Dalai Lama would arrive at Patna from New Delhi. The mega event would witness Buddhist leaders and scholars from across the world speak on Buddhist philosophy. A number of research papers regarding the history, philosophy and culture of Buddhism would be presented in the conference. Around 300 delegates would take part in the deliberations. However, we have restricted the number of invitees to 3,000. Monks from Bodhgaya would also take part in the conference.”
Umesh Chandra Dwivedi, director (museums) in the state art, culture and youth affairs department, said: “Our department would be organising two exhibitions on the theme of Buddhist sites in Bihar during the conference. The district administration has agreed to provide 200 rooms for accommodation of Buddhist delegates participating in the conference.”
He added: “The work on development of the museum block, which is being looked after by our department is unlikely to be completed before the conference. It is expected to take a couple of more weeks.”
The overall management of the event is being supervised by the Buddhist Sangha Conference Committee headed by the divisional commissioner of Patna.