The government is going to develop and renovate 1,812 Hindu temples and religious establishments across the country.
The Tk 228.69-crore project will be placed today at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting, a Planning Ministry official said.
“Once the project is implemented, members of the Hindu community will be benefited, and it will help ensure a secular Bangladesh,” reads the proposal of the project.
The project will be implemented by October 2021 from the government's fund, the official said. Hindu Religious Welfare Trust (HRWT) will implement it.
As per the 2011 census, there are some 1.23 crore Hindus living in Bangladesh, making them the second largest religious group, according to the project proposal.
So far, the HRWT has not taken any major project for the development and renovation of temples, holy places and cremation grounds, it said.
During the Liberation War in 1971, Pakistan army men destroyed many temples in different parts of the country, it added. “Among other problems, preservation of Hindu culture and temples is a major issue,” proposal said.
Ranjit Kumer Das, secretary of HRWT, told The Daily Star yesterday there are 40,191 shrines, temples, holy places and cremation grounds across the country.
They have selected 1,812 temples and religious establishments following recommendations of the trustees of HRWT and local representatives.
The government last year took a project to build 560 model mosques in district and upazila towns across the country, spending Tk 8,722 crore from its own resources.