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Lilburn in US likely to make Hindu Temple centre of Commercial District

The temple was opened in 2007 and since then the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir has drawn 1.8 million visitors

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Lilburn Hindu temple BAPS. Image source: Chodavaramnet.blogspot.com

Lilburn, Georgia, August 26, 2016: Officials in Lilburn, hope to restructure the commercial area surrounding a Hindu temple, as it has become one of Gwinnett County’s top tourist destinations in Georgia, US.

The temple was opened in 2007 and since then the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir has drawn 1.8 million visitors. Located at the intersection of Lawrenceville Highway and Rockbridge Road, the members of Lilburn Community Improvement District is looking for a plan to benefit from the mandir’s presence. Few ideas they have zeroed in- by improving the area’s pedestrian access, curb appeal as well as retail offerings, to increase visitors or tourists.

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 Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Logo. Image source: Twitter
Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Logo. Image source: Twitter

The footfall at the temple has been ever growing, so much so that this place of worship has turned into one the top tourist destination in the county owing to the serene beauty, calm and marvellous architecture of the temple; which has prompted the officials to revitalize the area around the temple to capitalize on the tremendous popularity of the temple amongst people from all ethnicities and backgrounds, of which Asian Indians are the most frequent visitors.

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Map of Lilburn, Georgia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Map of Lilburn, Georgia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Festivals like Diwali, Hindu New Year etc are celebrated with great fervour in the temple by the 8% Asian Indians living in the small county that consists of 12,162 citizens.

“We see it as a place of worship; it also contributes artistically, spiritually, culturally to the Gwinnett landscape,” said Jigar Patel, the spokesperson.

The county officials intent to completely rejuvenate the area surrounding the temple to provide facilities to the devotees and visitors, as well as improve the county’s economic condition.

“We see the mandir as one of the main focal points in Gwinnett County” remarked Emory Morsberger, executive director of the community’s improvement district, “It’s a draw for high-income ,well-educated people.”

The projects lined up mainly focus on the beautification of the area surrounding the temple, as well as improving the housing stock of the locality. Suitable retail shops and improvement of the pedestrian are some other tasks with are high on the list.

This step was welcomed by the entire Asian Indian community. “we have great expectations” said Jigar patel “we think the community will benefit from it.”

– by Usman Zafar of NewsGram. Twitter: @HalkiSiChuban

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US Probing Facebook Data Deals With Tech Firms: Report

Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years, The New York Times report said

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Facebook is facing criminal investigation in the US for the data deals it had entered into with smartphone makers and other technology giants, The New York Times reported.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two smartphone makers that had entered into partnerships with the social media giant, said the report on Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

These two companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of millions of its users.

Facebook earlier reportedly admitted that it had shared users’ data with embattled Chinese company Huawei along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

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These agreements allowed the companies to see users’ friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent.

Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years, The New York Times report said.

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“We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously,” a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.” (IANS)