Covid: Centre plans to light up monuments for 100 crore jabs
The Centre is planning to celebrate the feat of administering 100 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses by lighting up 100 monuments across the country in the colours of the national flag.
Around 96.6 crore vaccine doses have been administered till Wednesday and the 100-crore mark is expected to be achieved on October 15 — on Dussehra.
“Altogether 100 selected monuments across the country are going to be lit in the Tricolour to mark 100 crore Covid vaccine doses being administered in the country. We are working on it,” ASI director (monuments) N.K. Pathak told The Telegraph.
Pathak, who is based in Delhi, said ASI media consultant Manu Sharma would give the details.
Sharma said the monuments will be lit on the evening of October 14 and again on the day the 100-crore doses mark is achieved.
“The monuments will be ready on October 14 and lit in the evening. They would be lit again on the day we are asked by the Union health ministry officials,” Sharma said.
Asked about the expenditure for lighting the monuments, Sharma said he was not allowed to give out such information.
The 100 monuments include 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites, including the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar in Delhi, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, Konark Temple in Odisha, Mamallapuram Rath temples in Tamil Nadu, St Francis of Assisi Church in Goa, Khajuraho, the forts of Chittor and Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan, the excavated ruins of the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar and Dholavira (recently accorded world heritage status) in Gujarat.
Metcalfe Hall and Currency Building in Calcutta is also on the list.
“We have been asked to light the excavated ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara, Sher Shah’s Tomb in Sasaram, and the ancestral house of the first President Rajendra Prasad,” ASI Patna circle superintending archaeologist Goutami Bhattacharya said.
Other officials pointed out that the ASI was working on a shoestring budget of just Rs 1,043 crore during the current financial year 2021-22 and was still being made to indulge in such extravagance, which will cost a few crores of rupees.
A senior official asked: “Why is Covid vaccination being considered such a big deal in our country when it is being undertaken all over the world?”