Auto drivers and vendors in Bhopal will double up as special policemen to take care of pilgrims and visitors during the Simhastha fair, which is scheduled to start from April 22 in Ujjain.
Predicting a heavy footfall at the Bhopal and Habibganj railway stations, the government railway police (GRP), Bhopal, in coordination with Child Line Bhopal will impart special training to more than 100 auto drivers and vendors.
“We are expecting that 70% of Simhasta visitors will travel to Ujjain via Bhopal. The footfall at both Bhopal and Habibganj railway stations will increase a lot. As we don’t have a large enough force to manage the crowd, we will form a special police force which includes civilians,” GRP town inspector Hemant Shrivastava said.
The special police will keep eye on visitors. They will also guide pilgrims and help them with transportation and accommodation in Ujjain. During training, they will be taught law, rules and regulations. They will also be given training to strengthen themselves physically and mentally.
“They will be present in large number at all railway platforms and outside the railway stations so that they can also keep eye on miscreants. In case of any untoward incident, they will be able to catch them easily,” Shrivastava said.
The volunteers have expressed pride to be part of this special police force.
“I have been given a chance to contribute to the management of such a big religious event and I will do my best,” Bilal Ansari, an auto driver, said.
“We will give our 100% to help police manage things properly in Bhopal. Through our services, we want to leave a good impression on visitors, who will come from across India,” said Dileep Pandey, another volunteer.