Mumbai: Rain forces Ambedkarites to sleep at Dadar, CST railway stations

Dec 06, 2017, 16:40 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

All temporary shelters provided for Ambedkar followers full, so police request new arrivals to sleep at Dadar station, CST instead

The unseasonal rain in Mumbai has played havoc with the living arrangements of followers of Dr Balasaheb Ambedkar, who are in the city for his death anniversary today. As the Shivaji Park ground is a mess and the schools provided by BMC for accommodation are full, followers arriving in the city had no option but to sleep at the railway station overnight.

Ambedkar followers were seen resting at Dadar railway station last night, as all the schools where people had been moved to, were full. Pics/ Pradeep DhivarAmbedkar followers were seen resting at Dadar railway station last night, as all the schools where people had been moved to, were full. Pics/ Pradeep Dhivar

In the wee hours of Wednesday, mid-day visited the Shivaji Park ground where many followers who had landed up there, unaware of the situation, were being guided by BMC staff and the police locations to where arrangements had been made.

Post midnight, the rituals and prayers began at Chaityabhoomi, where members of the Ambedkar family were present. 

Tents at Shivaji Park in tatters following the rainTents at Shivaji Park in tatters following the rain

On Tuesday night, a pandal had collapsed at the ground, injuring a few followers. According to a police officer who did not wished to be named, "Following the incident, people were very angry because they felt that the government and the BMC had not made proper arrangements. We don't want any law and order situation, so there is a huge police bandobast that has been deployed."

NGOs were seen distributing food to followers arriving at Dadar station and CST. People were also seen sleeping at Dadar central railway station early this morning.

Food distributed by NGOs at Dadar last night
Food distributed by NGOs at Dadar last night

Nishant Dangle from the Swabhimani Republican Party who was distributing food at Dadar station said, "Because of the rain, the number of people coming to Mumbai to visit chaityabhoomi is far less than previous years.  All temporary arrangements made for the people are full, so we have requested some of them to stay at the platform overnight.  We are providing them with food and water." Dangle said they had provided food to around 2,000 people at Dadar station.

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