Bktc: Senior priest of Kedarnath alleges scam in gold plating of temple’s walls, BKTC dismisses claims | India News

DEHRADUN: A senior priest of the Kedarnath temple has alleged a multi-crore scam in the gold plating of the shrine’s inner walls, but the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee has dismissed such claims saying a “misleading” campaign is being run on social media.
In a video that surfaced online, senior priest Santosh Trivedi alleged that the temple’s sanctum sanctorum has been covered with brass plates in the name of gold plating, claiming it is a “Rs 125 crore scam”.
Trivedi, who is also the vice president of the Teerth Purohit (pilgrimage priest) Mahapanchayat, threatened to launch an agitation if those involved in the alleged scam were not brought to book.
However, the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) on Sunday termed the social media campaign as a “conspiracy”.
BKTC Chairman Ajendra Ajay said it is the handiwork of people not happy with the record rise in the number of devotees visiting the Kedarnath temple due to improved facilities created there under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The campaign is part of a vicious political conspiracy to tarnish the image of Kedarnath Dham. It has been hatched by petty politicians who are envious of the record rise in the number of pilgrims visiting Kedarnath over the past couple of years,” Ajay said in a statement.
According to Ajay, the gold plating of the walls of the temple’s sanctum sanctorum was done by a donor from Maharashtra with due permission from the BKTC under the supervision of Archaeological Survey of India experts.
The permission to the donor to carry out the exercise was given under the BKTC Act 1939, he said.
The donor got copper plates prepared by his jewellers which were then gold plated by his own goldsmiths and used to cover the walls of the temple’s sanctum sanctorum (Garbhgriha), the BKTC chairman said.
The entire work was done by the donor and the BKTC had no direct role to play in it, he claimed.
After the completion of the work, official bills and vouchers for copper and gold plates were submitted to the BKTC which has entered them in its stock book.
The gold plating of the temple walls from inside was done by way of donation and neither the donor nor any firm put forward any condition before the BKTC for this. The donor did not ask for a certificate under section 80G of the Income Tax Act from the BKTC either, he said.
The same donor had carried out gold plating of Badrinath temple in 2005, Ajay said.
Gold plates given by the donor weighed 23777.800 gram worth Rs 14.38 crore and copper plates weighed 1,001.300 kg worth Rs 29 lakh, the statement said.
Some people on Twitter have reacted to the allegations equating the alleged scam to the loot of the Somnath temple in Gujarat.
The BKTC chairman had also refuted “misleading information” floating on social media on June 15 which claimed that Rs 1.15 billion were spent on the gold plating of the Kedarnath temple walls.

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