Mumbai: Park and ride AC bus for Ganpati's darshan at Siddhivinayak

Updated: Jul 27, 2019, 09:43 IST |

BMC wants Siddhivinayak devotees to park vehicles at Kohinoor Square and take a bus from there; temple says plan not feasible

Mumbai: Park and ride AC bus for Ganpati's darshan at Siddhivinayak
To combat constant snarls, the Siddhivinayak temple trust requested the civic body to give special parking lots for devotees

Byline: Prajakta Kasale

All the Siddhivinayak temple trust wanted was a parking solution nearby for its devotees, but instead of providing a simple one, the BMC went a roundabout route, which hasn't made the trust very happy. BMC has arranged for a parking space over two kilometres away from the temple. Once devotees park there, they will be able to take a special AC bus shuttle service to go to the temple. The trust has expressed its displeasure with the move saying that this option will be too hectic for devotees.

The Siddhivinayak temple is one of the busiest in the city, seeing a footfall of at least 60,000 devotees every day. The number goes up to 1.5 lakh on Tuesdays and Chaturthi. Several devotees drive to the temple, but since it does not have any parking lots, they end up parking in the small lanes nearby. The cars, which end up blocking the roads, are often towed away by the traffic police. This has also led to quarrels between residents and devotees.

The public parking lot at Kohinoor Square tower, which the BMC wants to allot for the purpose. Pics/Ashish Raje
The public parking lot at Kohinoor Square tower, which the BMC wants to allot for the purpose. Pics/Ashish Raje

Need some space

To work towards a solution to this, the Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple Trust had requested the civic body to provide special parking lots for its devotees. Last year, Adesh Bandekar, chairman of the trust, approached Yashwant Jadhav, BMC's standing committee chairman and Shiv Sena corporator, and requested to allot parking lots for around 200 cars in the newly-constructed buildings in the neighbourhood. But the civic body was unable to help as it couldn't find such a big space around Prabhadevi. 

However, after it acquired the parking lot in the Kohinoor Square building in Dadar this month, now the city's 29th Public Parking Lot (PPL) with 1,008 spaces, BMC decided to accommodate the trust's request there. The building is over a kilometre away from the temple. In addition to this, BMC is also willing to introduce an AC shuttle bus service for the devotees.

Several devotees drive to the temple, but since it does not have any parking lots, they end up parking in the small lanes nearby
Several devotees drive to the temple, but since it does not have any parking lots, they end up parking in the small lanes nearby

Should be viable

Speaking to mid-day, Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of G north ward said, "We are planning on starting an AC bus shuttle service between Kohinoor Square and Siddhivinayak temple, which can be used by commuters to go to other places on the route as well. It will help in solving the parking issue in the area."

"We will decide on the proposal after a discussion. The proposal should be viable because the buses can't ferry round the clock. So, we have to decide the timings and see if that's feasible for the car owners as well," said Anil Patankar, chairman, BEST committee. 

BMC decided to accommodate the trust’s request at the PPL in Kohinoor Squares, Dadar
BMC decided to accommodate the trust’s request at the PPL in Kohinoor Squares, Dadar

Trust unimpressed

The trust is far from impressed with BMC. Bandekar told mid-day, "Though the BMC's step has been taken in good faith, it will not help. We asked for a parking lot nearby or at least in Prabhadevi or Agar Bazar. It will be hectic for people to park their car inside and then travel by bus. It's not feasible." 

60,000
No. of devotees arriving at temple daily

1.5 lakh
No. of vehicles on Tuesdays and chaturthis

1,008
No. of slots in the new Kohinoor Square public lot

2.4km
Distance between Kohinoor Square and temple

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