Simhastha: Saints accuse administration of discrimination

  • Sandeep Vatsa, Hindustan Times, Ujjain
  • Updated: Mar 31, 2016 17:45 IST
Saints of khaki akhara stage a road blockade to protest against poor facilities at Simhastha fair at Khak Chowk in Ujjain on Tuesday. (HT photo)

Saints arriving to attend the Simhastha fair in Ujjain, scheduled from April 22, accused the administration of discriminating among influential camps of saints while providing basic amenities.

A large number of saints have arrived in Ujjain and are engaged in developing their camps.

The administration is providing them with facilities of plot levelling, water connection, electricity and toilets while shelter huts are to be prepared by the saints themselves.

Many saints have complained that they have not been provided with a water line.

The work of toilets is also far from completion, they alleged.

Processions (peshwai) of almost all the akharas are scheduled to be held between April 5 to April 17 and all the sadhus would be here by that time.

Saints of khaki akhara staged a road blockade at Khak Chowk on Tuesday over poor facilities.

“We met the officials several times but received only assurances for the required facilities,” said Arjundas Maharaj, one of the saints.

“The government is spending crores of rupees on the 13 akharas but other saint institutions have been left out,” he added.

Another saint, Billori Maharaj, at the Balak Yogeshwardas camp said only 30 toilets have been built on their camp and they needed at least 90.

“Over 500 priests and an equal number of saints and disciples would be here during the fair. How can we manage with just 30 toilets?” he asked.

He said whenever he went to the zone office to complain, the officials always sent him back by saying that the contractor was being directed to work.

Mahamandleshwar Pilot Baba said the saints who are not capable enough were facing the hardships.

“The authorities are concentrating more on big camps who are capable to arrange things on their own.”

Fair officer Avinash Lawania refuted all the allegations of disparity and maintained that works on all the camps were being carried out and the required toilets and washrooms were being built.

He said a centrally-controlled complaint redressal system has been set up to address the issues of the saints.

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