Unprecedented challenge for BMC this Dec 6
The number of followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar visiting Chaityabhoomi near Shivaji Park in Dadar is expected to cross 20 lakh this year, the highest ever figure for the annual December 6 pilgrimage to observe the death anniversary of the man worshipped by Dalits across the country.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claimed it was prepared to handle the situation and had made arrangements to provide basic amenities at Shivaji Park.
The BMC has put up a tent covering 1.30 lakh sq ft to house people coming from all over the country in the Shivaji Park area while also making available accommodation facilities at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar College in Wadala.
For sanitation, 150 toilets blocks and 17 mobile toilets have been put up at various places around the park. The civic body has also arranged for 350 drinking water taps and 10 water tankers. Sanitary staff, electricity facility, fire brigade service, rescue booths and three ambulances have also been arranged.
An eight-by-twelve-feet screen has been put up on the Shivaji Park ground for live telecast from Chaityabhoomi.
The BMC has set up control rooms in the L Ward office and Dr Ambedkar’s residence ‘Rajgriha’, besides information centres and medical facility centres at various places like G-North Ward office, Dadar station and Swami Narayan Temple in Dadar (E).
The BMC has also made arrangements for 450 temporary stalls for vendors.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Mahaparinirvan Din Samanvay Samiti secretary Nagesh Kamble said: “This year, already five lakh devotees have reached Mumbai and the crowd is expected to be considerably more than past years. The number of devotees will cross 20 lakh on December 6.”
Assistant Commissioner from G/N Ward office Sharadchandra Ughade said the BMC was fully prepared for Mahaparinirvan Din.
“We have made all arrangements, including basic facilities,” Ughade said.