Devotees visiting Ganpati mandals across the city will no longer have to worry about getting a taxi or autorickshaw to get back home. The state transport department has asked all three Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to setup temporary stands near pandals to ensure that commuters have easy, quick access to taxis and autorickshaws.
The vehicles would be made to queue up outside the Ganesh mandals, depending on where the drivers are heading. “The idea to make it easy for commuters to catch an auto or taxi as the drivers would be asked to park depending on where they are heading at the end of the day. So, there is no question of the drivers refusing fare,” said an official from the RTO.
This facility would begin from September 15 and would be operational till the last day of the festival. RTO officers are currently scouting for nearest permissible spots outside the pandals, where the stands would be setup after going through the security aspects. The stands would also have RTO officers managing the taxi and auto queues.
“Passengers shouldn’t be inconvenienced during the festive season. This initiative would benefit all devotees coming to Ganpati pandals,” said Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, transport minister. Some of the important Ganesh mandals where the facility would be available are Lalbaug, Veera Desai Road and Tilak Nagar.
Meanwhile, the transport department will also inaugurate the share-a-rickshaw stand on September 16 at Bandra (East) and Santacruz (East). The department will begin with 11 new routes for share-a-rickshaws and also undertake measures to ensure that the existing 75-odd stands in Mumbai operate at the fullest.