A decongestion plan for Mumbai favorite hill station suggests that tourists flocking to the cool hills of Matheran will be able to park their cars at Neral without jostling for space at the congested Dasturi naka. This could mean that tourists will no longer be allowed to drive their cars to the top of the hill. They will, instead, have to take a bus from the Neral foothills to the hilltop.
While deliberating the draft tourism plan of the hill-station, the Supreme Court appointed high-level monitoring committee (HLMC) and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) agreed upon looking for space at Neral to create ample parking space. This long-term plan also includes an addition of eco-friendly buses to ply tourists from the foothills to the hill town.
The HLMC, MTDC and representatives of Aakar-Abhinav Consultants Private Limited, who made the draft tourism plan, had discussed these issues during their December 15 meeting. “We (HLMC) have given all the inputs from our side that concerned eco-tourism, decongestion of traffic and strict imposition of ban on plastic,” said V Ranganathan, chairman, HLMC. The draft tourism plan says, that in the short term, till a suitable land is acquired for parking, only those tourists with a hotel booking will be allowed to park cars at Dasturi naka.
According to sources present during the meeting, “Since the issue of parking is grave” at Dasturi naka, the “HLMC asked the decongestion suggestions to be added into the master tourism plan”
Following the deliberations, MTDC will present the final draft tourism plan to HLCM . The plan will then be forwarded to the state tourism ministry.
Sewage treatment issues were also deliberated during the meeting. “We (HLMC) recommended that all big hotels should have sewage treatment plants to treat wet waste and that dry waste should be segregated. It was also suggested that the hill-station should have two-more STP’s,” added Ranganathan.