108-ft Hanuman idol to attract tourists in Shimla

October 29th, 2010 - 4:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhishek Bachchan Shimla, Oct 29 (IANS) A 108-foot idol of Hindu god Hanuman will be another attraction for tourists visiting this Himachal Pradesh capital. But the locals — keen to maintain the greenery of the place — feel that such constructions should not be allowed.

Standing tall amid the plush green pine trees surrounding Mount Jakhu - the highest peak in the town - the statue has been set up on the premises of the historical Jakhu Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Oral care products manufacturer JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Ltd has set up the statue at the temple complex located at an altitude of 8,500 ft.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan will be present at the statue unveiling ceremony Nov 4, a company statement said.

But the construction of the idol has not gone down well with the locals.

“The silvery moon lighting up the lush green mountains at night was a sight to behold. Anything that cannot gel with the surroundings should be avoided,” octogenarian Manmohan Malik said.

The government shouldn’t allow any sort of construction in the green zones of the town, he added.

Said British national Jodie Underhill, who was given an award at an environment film festival here in July for cleaning up garbage in the Dharamsala hills and was recently in Shimla: “The once lush green hills have been converted into a concrete jungle.”

“You see a tremendous pressure on land and its resources. It is high time a ban on constructions was imposed,” she added.

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