The mega ‘Maha Kumbh Mela’, the largest human congregations on the earth which takes place over a span of seven weeks is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, says apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry, reported Economic Times.
The Economic Times citing a CII report suggest that the economic activities associated with the Kumbh Mela will generate more than six lakh employment opportunities across various sectors. The Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, which is over three times more than the Maha Kumbh in 2013.
Reportedly, the CII estimated that the hospitality sector alone will employ more than 2,50,000 people, while airlines and airports will create 1,50,000 jobs with additional 45,000 jobs through tour operations. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study. Addition to this there will be around 55,000 new jobs in the unorganized sector comprising of tour guides, taxi drivers, interpreters, volunteers etc.
The Kumbh Mela is expected to attract a huge number of foreign tourists from various countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka indicating that the Kumbh Mela is a global festival.
The Kumbh is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, while neighbouring states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will also gain from the enhanced revenue generation with a large number of national and foreign tourists visit these neighbouring states.
The area of Kumbh Mela to accommodate the visitors has also been doubled to 3,200 hectares as compared to 1,600 hectares in the previous melas. Augmenting this, authorities have set up a mini-city with more than 4,000 tents and the Prayagraj is being lit by installing over 40,000 LED lights, say local authorities.
The infrastructure development has also been given the push with the upgrading of nine railways stations and construction of a new airport terminal in Allahabad. The new city near the Kumbh Mela has been built with a road span of 250 km and 22 pontoon bridges, which will make it the largest temporary city in the world.
The CII document further adds that the Kumbh being a sacred Hindu pilgrimage will generate direct and indirect business activities and the fruits of which would hopefully benefit the economy not only of Uttar Pradesh but that of India as a whole.
The historic Kumbh Mela is organised based on a complex astrological calculation and the alignment of the stars which determines the time and place of the ‘Kumbh’ in one of the following four river-sites of either Haridwar, Prayagraj, Nasik and Ujjain. The Kumbh Mela is a celebration of an ancient Hindu tradition, in which a devotee takes a dip in the holy waters where the mythical Saraswati, Ganga and Yamuna rivers meet. The ‘Kumbh Mela’ is not only the largest peaceful gathering in the world but also the oldest religious event to be celebrated and is also on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
President Ram Nath Kovind became the first President since Dr Rajendra Prasad in 1953 to visit the Kumbh Mela when he offered prayers with his wife on Thursday. It is expected that more than round 12 crore people will attend the Kumbh from January 15 till Maha Shivratri on March 4, when the Mela will come to a close on Maha Shivratri day.
The first ‘Shahi Snan‘ (royal bath) of Kumbh on January 15 drew a record crowd of 2.25 devotees, said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has been meticulously supervising minute details personally to make the event “Divya Kumbh, Bhavya Kumbh”.