UAE temple project marks major construction milestone

DUBAI, Feb 15: The first Hindu temple in the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi witnessed a major construction milestone as the first concrete pouring ceremony for its raft foundation took place here, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Swaminarayan temple of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sansth (BAPS) temple in 2018 via video conferencing from the Dubai Opera House.
Pujya Brahmavihari Swami and Pujya Akshaymunidas Swami held special prayers for the project in the presence of Pavan Kapoor, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE and Vipul, the Consul General of India to Dubai, Omar Al-Muthanna, CEO of the Community Development Authority and Mohandass Saini, CEO of Shapoorji Pallonji.
During the ceremony, Pujya Brahmavihari Swami said: “Today we are embarking upon the unique Mandir raft which is built using a combination of ancient technology with modern instrumentation.”
“This could not have been possible without the grace of god, the complete support of the community and the love of everyone present here today,” he said.
“All I can say is that I have to give credit to my predecessor who supported this initiative and most of all the UAE government to take this enormous and very generous decision not just to donate the land but to give the first license to the temple,” Ambassador Kapoor said.
Al-Muthanna said positive individuals irrespective of their religion are an asset for any community.
“We want to make sure we have selected the right partner; today is an excellent example that we have selected the right partner BAPS,” he said.
Attendees were ushered to the construction site where the ceremony began with prayers followed by them witnessing the first layer of fly-ash concrete mix being poured.
The ceremony marked a single pour of 3,000 cubic metres of the concrete mix, which is made up of 55 percent fly ash, making the temple foundation green compared to most concrete mixtures used across the world. (PTI)