November 5, 2018
Mamata Banerjee’s Kali Puja gift – Skywalk at Dakshineswar
The Dakshineswar Skywalk, a futuristic 10.5 metre-wide and 340 metre-long elevated glass-and-steel pathway from the Dakshineswar railway station to the compound of the famous Kali temple, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today.
It also connects the nearby traffic rotary with the gates of the temple compound, as there will be several escalators and staircases along the way. There are a total of 14 escalators, four elevators and eight staircases allowing users to embark and disembark at several points. Another very useful facility is the series of shops selling items of worship and food inside the walkway.
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple draws 1.4 crore devotees every year, and this passage, exclusively for those walking to the temple, will serve as a major convenience. It will resolve a lot of the traffic problems as the hundreds of pedestrians will no longer crowd the streets.
Like many other important projects in the State, this skywalk too is the brainchild of Mamata Banerjee.
Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:
The history of Bengal is incomplete without Rani Rashmoni. She was associated with the renaissance movement in Bengal. We are honoured to have been able to name this skywalk after her.
Dakshineswar was very congested area. That is why we decided to solve the problem by constructing this skywalk. The hawkers will be rehabilitated.
We faced many hurdles while constructing this skywalk. The hawkers were misled. The matter went to court. We did not concede ground. This skywalk will benefit the devotees and people at large.
Dakshineswar and Belur are international religious tourism sites.
When I was the railway minister, Dakshineswar station was modelled after the temple. I took the same initiative at Belur and Tarapith. We had extended metro services till Noapara to connect Dakshineswar with Dumdum. We also developed the parking centre at Belur.
I had promised that hawkers will be rehabilitated. 137 stalls have been set up. They will be distributed in seven days time.
The temple trust authorities will maintain this skywalk. People must ensure that this skywalk is clean. Kamarhati municipality will clean the skywalk twice daily.
Dakshineswar and Belur are our pride.
We are planning to set up a skywalk at Kalighat. Already we have taken several developmental initiatives for Kalighat.
We have also undertaken developmental initiatives at Tarapith, Bakreswar, Nalhateswari, Tarakeshwar, Kankalitala. Visit Gangasagar – how it has transformed.
Those who indulge in the politics of religion, serve no purpose. Firhad Hakim, our Urban Development Minister, was made the chairman of a development committee. Some sections objected because of his religion. We do not believe in such discrimination.
Who are they to lecture us on Hinduism? They did not exist when Hinduism took shape. One cannot become a Hindu just by wearing saffron robes.
BJP is pseudo-saffron. They only tell lies and indulge in propagandist politics. True saffron are organisations like Bharat Sevasram Sangha and Ramakrishna Mission, who work for the people.
Our religion is vast. We worship many Gods. We worship Durga as well as Kali. Bhabatarini, Adya Ma, Chamunda, Chhinnamasta… we worship her in all forms.
We strongly believe, religion is personal while festivals are for all. We participate in Eid, Christmas, Guru Nanak Jayanti as well as Durga Pujo.
Ramakrishna Paramhansa had said, joto mot toto poth. There is a mazar inside Belur Math.
Is the human body complete without any organ? A family also comprises of several members. Similarly, a society is incomplete without all communities.
Dakshineswar Skywalk is a model for not just India but entire world. The congestion at religious sites can be eased by constructing skywalks.
We have renovated the crematoriums. Nimatala crematorium was in bad shape. See the transformation now.
We have set up Patha Sathi motels every 30 km on highways.
Despite the huge debt burden that we inherited, we are working for the welfare of the people. We have undertaken several infrastructure projects. Work must be taken with dedicated.
A full-fledged police station must be set up at Dakshineswar.
My advance greetings to all on the occasion of Kali Pujo, Deepavali and Chhat Pujo. I would request the administration to make adequate preparations. My heartiest greetings to my brothers and sisters on the occasion of Bhai Phonta.
Rani Rashmoni created history by fighting against all odds. She is a name to reckon with. We will dedicate more projects in her memory in future.