Radha Kund, Dec. 2, 2010 (DJ) | Money has been raining down on the major religious centers of Braj ever since Mayawati started her dream projects, but very little of it has come to Radha Kund, even though it is one of the most important such sites in the district.
Radha Kund now has the status of an independent Panchayat (local government), but it is still struggling to get the government goodies.
The entire seven-kos parikrama route around Govardhan was supposed to be improved in the plan, but the lion’s share of government largesse has been limited to Govardhan town itself. And even though Radha Kund is situated on the Govardhan Parikrama Marg, none of the projects have been implemented there.
Radha Kund is famous as a sacred place related to Radharani, and now has a population of several thousand. The area has no shortage of holy sites. Principal destinations for pilgrims include Radha Kund, Shyam Kund, Kangan Kund, Radha Kant temple, Gopajaji temple, Jahnava Devi’s place of bhajan and Samadhi, Raghunath Goswami’s pushpa Samadhi, Radha Govindadev temple, the temple of Giriraj’s tongue, Govinda Ghat, Manas Pawan Ghat, Panch Pandav Ghat, Radhavallabh Ghat, Jiva Goswami Ghat, Gaya Ghat, Tamal Ghat, Sangam Ghat, Shri Jhulan Bat Ghat, as well as the residences of many saints and devotees.
Local people have several complaints. First of all, there are no bus routes — government or private — leading to Radha Kund. This obliges would-be travelers to take a tempo during the day. After dusk, however, no more tempos serve the different routes and one is obliged to walk to one’s destination. This is especially a cause of difficulty for those making a one-day visit.
“It would seem that private minibus operators would see the possibility of increased income as well as providing a public service by adding Radha Kund to their route,” says village resident Bhola Dubey.
Another complaint is that Radha Kund has inadequate electric services. Even after getting its own Panchayat, it does not have its own electric substation. “This places us entirely at the mercy of the Govardhan electricity station’s whims for our supply,” he says. “This situation also affects other villages in the area.”
Local activist Nirbhay Goswami says that the Panchayat has taken proposals for projects to the district administration on several occasions, and have always received assurances, but nothing has yet come of it.
“The administration has adopted an attitude of indifference,” he said.
Radha Kund resident Narendra Sharma adds that the feeling is government bureaucrats are discriminating against the town. Whenever a political leader or important bureaucrat comes to Radha Kund, the subject of development comes up, but no one listens to the local people and their needs.
“They are completely ignoring the religious importance of Radha Kund,” says resident Pankaj Khandelwal. “The local residents are not just deprived of facilities like electrical power, education, health and bus services, but almost everything else as well. We are simply asking the government to do more for the development of this town.”