The mega Kumbh Mela, which began on January 15 and will continue till March 4, is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, says apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry.
Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said in a report.
The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, which is over thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever.
The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study.
Apart from this there will be around 55,000 new jobs in the unorganized sector comprising of tour guides, taxi drivers, interpreters, volunteers etc.
This will lead to increase income levels for government agencies and individual traders.
Attracting a massive number of foreign tourists from various countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, the Kumbh is a festival of the world.
“The ‘mela’ is expected to generate a revenue of Rs1,200 billion for Uttar Pradesh, the state where it is being held, while neighbouring states like Rajasthan, Uttarkhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will also benefit from the enhanced revenue generation with a large number of national and foreign tourists expected to explore other destinations.
The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated a hefty amount of Rs 4,200 crore for the Kumbh Mela held in Allahabad, which has become the costliest pilgrimage till date.
In order to house this multitude, authorities have erected a mini-city of more than 4,000 tents. The city is being lit by installing over 40,000 LED lights, say local authorities.
Overhauling of key infrastructure is being done, including upgrading nine railways stations and construction of a new airport terminal in Allahabad.
The setting up of this new city in the huge Mela area involves 250 km roads and 22 pontoon bridges, which will make it the largest temporary city in the world.
The Kumbh, a sacred Hindu pilgrimage, is thus expected to generate direct and indirect business activities, the fruits of which would hopefully benefit the economy not only of Uttar Pradesh, but that of India as a whole, the CII document says.