Visiting Varanasi? Keep this in mind, or you may land in trouble
Are you planning to visit Varanasi? You may land in trouble if you are found consuming liquor and non-vegetarian food within a 250-metre radius of all temples and heritage sites of the holy town. According to a report by news agency IANS, the sale and consumption of liquor and non-vegetarian food within a 250-metre radius of all temples and heritage sites in Varanasi have been totally banned. This comes two months after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced a ban on liquor shops and sale of non-vegetarian food at all places of worships including Varanasi, Vrindavan, Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Deoband, Dewa Sharif, Misrikh-Naimisharanya.
In April, the Uttar Pradesh CM had directed all officers of the Excise Department to prohibit the sale of liquor with a kilometre of Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, Krishna Janambhoomi in Mathura and the Sangam area in Allahabad. As per the report, the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) had passed a proposal for a complete ban on alcohol and non-vegetarian food in a 250-metre periphery near temples and heritage sites in the pilgrim town. A decision in this regard was taken at the executive committee of the VMC chaired my Mayor Mridula Jaiswal.
The report quoted Narsingh Das, deputy chairman at VMC, as saying, "In the meeting of executive committee, corporator Rajesh Yadav put up a proposal for a complete ban on liquor and non-vegetarian food near the temples and Heritage sites in 250-metre periphery." Yadav said that alcohol and non-vegetarian food should be banned near the temples and heritage sites on the lines of similar rules in Haridwar and Ayodhya.
Das further said the committee passed the proposal after a discussion. The proposal will now be tabled in the next session of Varanasi Municipal Corporation. After getting passed in the VMC session, the proposal will be sent to the state government for final approval.
Varanasi is the Parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This city is visited annually by lakhs of pilgrims from across the country. The ancient town is regarded as the country's spiritual capital with some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath. It is also a top destination for performing funeral rites.