From mobile charging points to a separate eating area to prevent littering, the BMC has planned a slew of measures to host lakhs of followers of Dr BR Ambedkar on his 59th death anniversary this weekend.
December 6, observed every year as ‘Mahaparinirvan Din’, sees lakhs of followers of Ambedkar gathering at Shivaji Park in Dadar to pay tributes at Chaitya Bhoomi. This year, apart from introducing mobile-charging points for the convenience of visitors who usually live in Shivaji Park in temporary structures for three days, the BMC has also constructed a drainage system around their living space to ensure proper flow of sewage and used water.
It was at Chaitya Bhoomi that Ambedkar’s last rites were performed after he passed away on December 6, 1956.
The accommodation area, where approximately 50,000 people can live at a time, is being set up in a pandal measuring 1 lakh square feet at Shivaji Park. Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G-North ward Ramakant Biradar said, “We have added many facilities that people can use this year. We have installed 100 mobile charging points as well as improved the medical emergency services.”
Apart from 10 ambulances, a team of 100 doctors from KEM, Nair Hospital, among others, will be available at all times. About 400 officials and 5,000 temporary workers will monitor and maintain the facilities.
The civic body will place about 140 mobile toilets, 270 temporary water taps and 110 bathrooms with showers for which water will be supplied from 33 tankers. “In past years, the bathrooms were made of tin and women felt unsafe bathing in them. This year, we have improved the quality of the bathrooms as well as added a covering,” said Biradar. He added that the BMC will install two large air balloons, which will act as markers for outstation visitors to identify Shivaji Park from a distance. Apart from Shivaji Park, facilities will also be available at Chaitya Bhoomi, Ambedkar’s home at Dadar’s Rajgruha building, Ambedkar College in Wadala as well as at Dadar railway station and Kurla LTT.
Pending approval from the state government on allowing visitors to visit Indu Mills, the location where a grand Ambedkar memorial is to be built, the BMC will provide 60 additional toilets there.Unlike last year, in a bid to reduce littering in the pandal, the BMC is constructing an eating area spread over 20,000 sqft, which will seat about 3,000 people at a time. “This way, we can control the littering and, at the same time, provide seating facilities to visitors,” said Biradar.