The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government will construct a grand temple for Sita in Sri Lanka and Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Monday asked officials here to prepare a plan and allot funds. He also directed that Sri Lankan government officials and members of the Mahabodhi Society be included in the committee that will be formed to monitor the progress of construction and adherence to deadlines, said an MP public relations department official on Monday.
Nath asked officials to finalise the design of the temple and arrange for funds in the current fiscal itself, the official informed. The decision was made after Nath a chaired a meeting with a delegation led by state Public Relations Minister PC Sharma, in which office-bearers of the Mahabodhi Society were also present, he said.
Nath also directed officials to allot land in Sanchi for the construction of a Buddha museum, research and training centre of international standard. The CM also informed that Mahabodhi society president, Japan and companies of other countries have offered financial assistance for the development of Sanchi.
On the occasion Sharma informed about his recent visit to Sri Lanka and the discussions held with officials there on the Sita temple construction. Sharma said Buddhists from Sri Lanka and other countries would arrive in large numbers in Sanchi if better air services are provided, and people from here would also be able to go to the island nation to pray at the Sita temple.
The construction of a Sita temple in Sri Lanka was first mooted by then chief minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan in 2012 when then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had visited Sanchi to lay the foundation stone of an international Buddha university.