Charity Commissioner stands in the way of temple ropeway plan

Sep 28, 2011, 09:00 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Official opposes project as ropeway taking people to Chatuhshrungi hill temple will consume too much power

Official opposes project as ropeway taking people to Chatuhshrungi hill temple will consume too much power

An ambitious ropeway project at Chatuhshrungi, which had been approved by the civic body, heritage committee and forest department, is now in limbo because of opposition by the Charity Commissioner. 
The 300-year-old Chatuh-shrungi Goddess hill temple is all set to celebrate Navratri.

All set for the festival: The Chatuhshrungi hill temple gets ready for
Navratri. The temple has also installed CCTV cameras after a security
threat was sounded. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

What is missing, however, is the plan for a ropeway for the 80-feet high temple, as the project is facing hurdles from the Charity Commissioner.The ropeway project was formally announced last year during Navratri and was supposed to kick off this year. The project had also got an official nod from the PMC Heritage Cell, State Geological Department and Forest Department. 

U N Dikkalwar, the charity joint commissioner, has certain reservations about the project. "It is not difficult to climb the 171 steps to the 80-feet-high temple for senior citizens or small children. The temple trust should save electricity and should not spend on this power-consuming project. Apart from this, the ropeway might also cause damage to the main rock supporting the temple on the hill," said Dikkalwar.

But it has disappointed several people who were looking forward to the project. "It could have been the first ever ropeway project in the city with a private initiative," said Subhash Angal, the chief trustee of Chatushrungi Temple. "Romila Bajaj, a donor, came forward with the money and the contract was given to Ropeway System Private Ltd of Kolkata, West Bengal. But the Charity Joint Commissioner rejected the project when we had furnished all the required permission for the ropeway project."

Umesh Shirole, president of Chatuhshrungi Temple Trust, said: "Over 10 lakh devotees visit the temple
every Navratri. The Charity Joint Commissioner has also stopped the restoration work of the temple to replace
it with shallow steps. The government has given Rs 10 lakh money approved by the state government for the

Elaborate security
AS the temple is open to the public till 2 am, 15 CCTV cameras have been installed on the premises by the Chatuhshrungi Devasthan Trust as per instructions from the city police. "In addition, 100 volunteers by Tej Gyan Foundation, along with the police, will be present to control the rush of devotees," said Angal. The PMC has taken the initiative in removing the garbage on the temple precincts, and parking arrangements have been made at the Polytechnic College Ground. .

History of Chatuhshrungi temple
The Chatuhshrungi Goddess temple is one of the oldest temples in the city and has been given C Grade by the Archeological Society of India for its rich heritage value. A moneylender and mint owner called Durlabhdas who used to offer his services to the Peshwas was a great devotee of Goddess Saptshrungi of Vani, near Nashik. He could not go to Vani because of old age, and the goddess herself appeared in his dream and told him she was coming to visit him in the city on the mountain top in Ganesh Khind area. He found the idol of the Goddess and made a temple by naming her Chatuhshrungi.

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