BHAGALPUR: The month-long Shrawani Mela was inaugurated by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi at Siri Ghat in Sultanganj amidst huge gathering of kanwariyas and chanting of ‘Bol Bum’ on Friday.
Union minister Ashwini Choubey and several state ministers, including tourism minister Pramod Kumar, PHED minister Vinod Narayan Jha, revenue and land reforms minister Ram Narayan Mandal, Sultanganj MLA Subodh Rai besides other political leaders of the region also participated in the event.
Referring to the inclusion of Shrawani Mela as ‘state fair’ by the government from this year, the deputy CM said, “Lighting facilities along the trek routes have been improved. Though construction of trekking path is an ongoing activity several culverts have been constructed for the pilgrims. The number of kanwariyas are increasing each year and we have to be alert to their growing needs. Efforts have been made to provide safety and security, health services, drinking water facility, sanitation and uninterrupted power supply during the monthlong Mela.”
“Henceforth the kanwariyas will get ‘A’ grade facilities after it was declared a state festival by the Nitish Kumar-led government,” said the deputy CM.
He also referred to various schemes for potable water, irrigation scheme, solar electricity, sanitation and cleaning of the Ganga besides other schemes for providing better facilities to the pilgrims.
Union minister Ashwini Choubey suggested to upgrade the Mela and declare it a national fair as the number of pilgrims is growing each year and kanwariyas from neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan too come to attend this fair.
“More efforts for providing better amenities are required,” said state tourism minister Pramod Kumar adding that projects worth Rs 52 crore for launching various schemes in and around Sultanganj is underway.
Others who also participated in the inaugural function included JD (U) MLA Subodh Rai (Sultanganj assembly segment), Zila Parishad chairperson Tuntun Sah and others besides officials from Bhagalpur and Banka districts.