Arrangements of parking slots are being made in neighbouring towns of Ujjain as police feel that vehicles might have to be held there for a few hours in case parking areas earmarked for pilgrims here gets filled during the Simhastha fair.
Police anticipate that the situation might arise particularly on the three shahi snan days of April 22, May 9 and May 21.
Over five crore people are estimated to throng Ujjain during the month-long event but administrative officials feelsthat the three Shahi Snan days would alone witness over 40% of whole turnout.
Satellite towns aimed at parking vehicles both public and private are being developed on all the six roads leading to Ujjain as also some parking slots have been arranged even within the city. Over 350 hectares of land have been acquired for the purpose.
Ujjain zone inspector general of police (IGP) V Madhu Kumar who was the SP at Indore during the last Simhastha in 2004 shared with HT that vehicles have to be held in Indore on the occasion on Shahi Snan days as Ujjain already would be full of vehicles.
In 12 years, vehicles have increased manifold and travel time has lessened with smooth roads so pilgrims would quickly reach Ujjain, he said, adding that after the filling up of parking slots, we have no option but to hold vehicles in towns near Ujjain.
They could be allowed to move in only after crowd returns from Ujjain, the IGP said. He said parking slots in Dewas (near Bhopal bypass), Maxi, Tanodia on Agar state highway, Nagda, Barnagar, Sanwer and others have been planned for the purpose.
We have chosen such spots in these towns so that people could get basic amenities of water, shelter and refreshment, he told.
Similarly, police are in consultation with the railways besides surface transport as a number of pilgrims are expected to arrive by trains. The railways would run over 100 special trains for the Simhastha fair from Bhopal, Ratlam, Indore and Guna and these would be terminated at flag stations on the outskirts so that crowd pressure on main station here could be divided, Madhu Kumar added.