The pilgrimage town of Shirdi is set for an image makeover.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has revived its six-year-old Shirdi development plan and is planning to construct a hotel, a promenade, skywalks and parking lots in the city which attracts more than eight lakh pilgrims on a day on any auspicious occasion.
MSRDC had floated Rs450-crore infrastructure development plan for Shirdi in 2005, which had been lying dormant for six years. MSRDC, however, has now called for expression of interest from various parties and held a meeting on Wednesday with infrastructure and real estate players to kick-start the programme.
“We are planning the project on a build Operate Transfer model where the operator creates the infrastructure and returns the project back to the government after recovering his cost,” MSRDC chief engineer Subhash Nage said.
Under this plan, MSRDC is hoping to start a three or five star hotel and has already sought land from the Shree Sai Shirdi Sansthan.
The MSRDC is also planning a four-lane 10km ring road, which will go along the township.
Widening of roads in Shirdi is necessary as the township with a population of 60,000 inhabitants sees more then one lakh people coming in on an average day. Most of these pilgrims come in their private vehicles or buses.
The plan will also include constructing a 1,200-metre skywalk towards the temple complex, which will have three outlets leading to the temple with lifts and escalators. It will also include a 1.5km promenade on the Ahmadnagar-Manmad road. The promenade will provide facilities such as sanitation, seating arrangements for the devotees.
The MSRDC also plans to have multi-storeyed car parking of seven to 11 floors.
Officials claim that once the bidder is finalised, they project will be completed in 30 months.