The Uttar Pradesh government has granted the status of State fair to the Deepotsav Mela to be held in Ayodhya during Deepavali.
The Cabinet met here on Tuesday and took the decision.
The festival, in which over 5.5 lakh lamps will lit on October 26, will be held at an estimated cost of ₹133 crore, government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said.
With the change in its status, the Mela will now be planned by the District Magistrate of Ayodhya. Earlier, the Tourism Department organised it.
Th decision was taken given the “international status” of the festival and on the proposals sent by the District Magistrate in letters, dated January 15 and July 3, the government said. To prevent the misuse of funds, all the events related to the festival would be audited.
The BJP government plans to organise a grand Deepavali celebration in Ayodhy. Last year, the festival showcased the Korean connection to the town, and South Korea’s first lady Kim Jung-sook was the chief guest.
Restrictions under Section 144 have been imposed on Ayodhya until December 10 in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi case.