Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: BMC-MTDC's bid to promote visarjan globally falls flat
Authorities receive only 25 online applications from foreign tourists willing to witness visarjan; expects to get 150 more through spot registrations
In a bid to promote the Ganesh festival among foreign tourists, the Maharashtra Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC) along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with an initiative to provide them a platform to witness visarjan at Girgaum Chowpatty on Sunday. Even though the authorities have organised a free-of-cost tour for the final day, it has not managed to get more than 25 online applications for it. However, MTDC is hopeful of getting 150 more through spot registrations.
In view of the mad rush on visarjan day, the BMC has constructed a pandal (432 square metres) for the tourists, from where they can witness the immersion activities. The pan?dal also has a stage, which/;'/ has been constructed exclusively for the foreign tourists. According to MTDC sources, the tourists can register for the event through their website and then the authorities would arrange a free pick-up and drop facility for them. However, as online registration has not been able to attract more tourists, they are relying on hotel associations to promote the event.
Speaking to mid-day, Joint Managing Director of MTDC, Ashutosh Rathod, said, "There are three time slots for the pick-up facility. However, I think many tourists will turn up spontaneously, as the event has been prominently promoted at all the renowned hotels of the city."
Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing for the final visarjan day. The civic body has placed 490 metal sheets across 5,500 square meter of area at Girgaum Chowpatty. More than 1,400 municipal staff would be present at the spot. Apart from this, five watchtowers and 10 CCTV cameras would be installed to ensure that the day passes off smoothly.
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