Service to Pandharpur is the service of "Shri Narayan Hari", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for four-laning of key sections of Sant Dnyaneshawar Maharaj Palkhi Marg (NH-965) and Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg (NH-965H) through video conferencing on Monday.
Addressing the event, Prime Minister Modi said, "Pandharpur signifies happiness and prosperity, and with today's foundation laying, the aspect of service has also been adjoined to it. About 225 km long national highway, which connects to Pandharpur, has also been inaugurated today."
"Service to Pandharpur is the service of Shri Narayan Hari for me. This is the land where the Lord resides even today for the sake of the devotees. This is the land about which Sant Namdev Ji Maharaj has said that Pandharpur is there since the world was not even created, " he stated.
Prime Minister said the construction of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi Marg will be done in five phases and the construction of Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg will be completed in three phases.
"The door to Lord Vitthal is equally open to everyone. And when I say 'Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas-Sabka Vishwas', the same sentiment is behind it. This spirit inspires us for the development of the country, takes everyone along, inspires us for the development of all," he said.
Prime Minister said the Pandharpur Yatra is seen as the world's oldest and largest 'Jan Yatra' (people's movement).
"So many attacks have happened on our India in the past! The country was caught in slavery for hundreds of years. Despite natural calamities, challenges and difficulties, our faith in Lord Vitthal Dev continued. This teaches us that there may be different paths, different methods and ideas, but we have the same goal. In the end, all sects are 'Bhagwat Panth'. These journeys run on different Palkhi routes, but all have the same destination. It is a symbol of the eternal education of India which does not bind our faith but liberates us," he added
Notably, the dedicated walkways for 'Palkhi' will be constructed on either side of these National Highways, providing hassle-free and safe passage to devotees.
About 221 km of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi Marg from Diveghat to Mohol and about 130 Km of Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg from Patas to Tondale – Bondale, will be four-laned with dedicated walkways for 'Palkhi' on either side, at estimated costs of more than Rs 6,690 crore and about Rs 4,400 crore respectively. (ANI)