Mumbai: Now, hop into an AC bus to reach Siddhivinayak
Devotees will be able to park their vehicles at Kohinoor Square and take an AC bus to the temple from Sunday
With Navratri all set to begin from Sunday, people planning to visit Siddhivinayak temple will be able to park their vehicles at the Kohinoor Public Parking Lot (PPL) and take an AC bus to the temple from the very first day of the festival. In a story published on July 27 (Park and ride AC bus for Bappa's darshan), mid-day had highlighted that the temple trust was unhappy with this arrangement considering the parking lot was more than 2 kilometres away from the temple and the travel would be hectic for devotees.
However, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), this would discourage people from parking in the narrow lanes nearby.
After acquiring the parking lot at Kohinoor Square, BMC had initiated the process of starting an AC bus service for those who wanted to park there and visit nearby places.
As part of the initiative, they will start the service on a ring route to Siddhivinayak temple from September 29.
Speaking to mid-day, general manager of BEST, Surendrakumar Bagde said, "There will be two AC buses which will take a ring route from Kohinoor Square PPL to Siddhivinayak. We will start the service on Sunday and will increase the frequency as per the response. The ticket rates are same as the usual service." As of now, BEST charges R6 for the first five km.
Around 60,000 devotees visit the Siddhivinayak temple daily. The number increases to 1.5 lakh on Tuesdays and Chaturthi. Several devotees drive to the temple, but since it has not had a parking lot assigned to it till date, they end up parking in the narrow lanes nearby. This results in the lanes getting congested, regarding which several complaints have come in from residents.
Even the Siddhivinayak temple trust had requested the BMC to provide a dedicated parking lot for its devotees.
Last year, Adesh Bandekar, chairman of the trust, approached the civic body and requested them to allot space for parking 200 cars in the newly constructed buildings nearby. "The PPLs are given by builders in exchange for additional FSI. But earlier there wasn't any PPL nearby. Now we have Kohinoor Square, which can accommodate more than 1,000 vehicles," said a civic official.
When contacted, Kiran Dighavkar, ward officer of G North, said, "More than 500 vehicles use the parking lot, but it has a capacity to accommodate 1,000. We hope the occupancy increases after the AC bus service starts." Even after repeated attempts to contact Bandekar, he was unavailable for comment.
No. of slots Kohinoor Square PPL has
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