Construction on Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy near Bhubaneswar in Orissa has been stuck for several years due to opposition from villagers surrounding the project, the AYUSH ministry said today.

The institute, which would carry out research in Yoga and naturopathy as well as have a 100-bed attached hospital, was announced in eight years ago.

The state government had acquired the land for the institute early on, but construction has not gone much beyond the perimeter wall.

Out of the Rs 4.73 cr set apart for the project, about 1.58 cr has already been released, AYUSH ministry said.

“Construction has not commenced so far due to resistance of villagers,” said minister Shripad Yesso Naik, without elaborating on the reason for the opposition.

Despite the opposition, said Naik, the government is no plans to explore alternate sites for the institute, which was to function under the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy.

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi is among the millions of people who follow Yoga teachings to improve their daily lives.

Naturopathy and Yoga are closely allied as both emphasize the maintenance of health via simple exercises and hacks.

Both are increasing in popularity due to the rapid rise of lifestyle diseases on the one hand, and increasing awareness of the side effects of drug-based medicine on the other.

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