Concerned over the unexpected low turnout at Simhastha fair in the first six days, the administration on Wednesday relaxed barricade regulations and announced a series of schemes to attract tourists.
Incharge minister Bhupendra Singh said vehicles will now be allowed to come as close as possible to ghats and the fair ground. “Over 400 buses would transport pilgrims within the city from railway station and bus stand for free,” said Singh.
Till now, government officials were allowed to drive around a two-kilometre-radius designated as no-vehicle zone and another two kilometres of radius declared as no four-wheeler zone from Ramghat. Excessive traffic restrictions on the first Shahi Snan on April 22 even prevented pedestrians from entering several city roads despite no crowd pressure.
As hardly seven lakh pilgrims came on the opening day, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan directed top officers to review traffic plan and withdraw restrictions.
Railway users committee member and MP (Ujjain) Mahendra Gadia has suggested to bring Simhastha special trains from Indore to Ujjain railway station, instead of terminating them at Vikram Nagar. “Five trains are being operated daily. There are only 10% occupancy against capacity of 2,000 passengers in each train,” said Gadia.
The MP also suggested that the trains should run till Mhow so that pilgrims wishing to Visit Omkareshwar jyotirling could travel at a cheap rate. “Demand to extend service of Chittorgarh-Ratlam Simhastha special train to Ujjain is likely to meet in the coming plan from May 1,” Gadia added.