The devotee entry system at Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple will go hi-tech as the temple committee plans to introduce a metro rail-like card punching system involving photometric identity, collector Kavindra Kiyawat said on Monday.
The move will not incur any expenditure either on the devotees or the temple committee as a private operator will be allowed to generate revenue through government department advertisements.
Around 12,000 pilgrims turn up daily at the Mahakal temple for darshan and they have to stand in a queue for different times depending upon the crowd pressure.
As per plan, ticket-vending machines would be put at different points in the city and an approximate time of darshan would be given based on the queue at that particular time.
Collector Kiyawat, who is also the head of temple committee, said the new system would be run on trial basis in March but would become full operational after Simhastha fair.
Under the new arrangement, each devotee has to get an entry token from the counters to be set up on the temple premises.
After the operator grabs a photograph of the devotee and enters his name on the database, a ticket will be printed with time slot of say one hour in which he would be given entry.
The same ticket has to be punched at the entry gate. The devotees can take the ticket in advance for any time of the day.
Kiyawat said ticket dispensing units would be put at places such as railway station, bus stand and other areas in the city.
The new system will help the administration know the exact figure of devotees on a particular day.
Tenders to invite operators to run the system has been floated and the operator will be allowed to print government advertisements to generate revenue.
Sources said different government departments on topics like health, cleanliness, social evils, social government schemes issue advertisements to public-utility service providers like the domestic gas refill bills, electricity bills so as to make people aware and concern.
Around `1.50 per ticket is paid for such advertisement, sources added.
The collector said entry inside the temple could only be possible through punching tokens even for priests and other temple staff who will get permanent cards.