Over 4.2m visit Godavari fairOver 4.2 million pilgrims have so far visited the Godavari Singhastha Mela held in the past 28 days.
Over 4.2 million pilgrims have so far visited the Godavari Singhastha Mela held in the past 28 days.
Organisers said the number of visitors has increased as the month-long festival held in every 12 years is set to end on September 18.
Sanjeev Maharjan, media coordinator of the festival, said the number would be higher if the banda did not affect Tarai districts. “Because of banda in various part of the country, we had not expected such a bing number of of flow. I think the number will rise in the coming days,” Maharjan said.
Over 200 stalls of eateries, handicrafts, vegetables and hundreds of retail shops, including a separate fun-park, have been built to entertain visitors. Meanwhile, banana mo:mo and other food items made out of banana by Chitwan Banana Farming Association has become a great hit in the fair.
Local traders are making a good profit due to the flow of pilgrims round the clock. The fair organising committee said business transaction worth Rs 50 million has taken place till date.
Meanwhile, traffic police has been working hard to make traffic movement smooth as the area has been witnessing traffic congestion. They have also been able to curb the tendency of charging extra fair to pilgrims. Lalitpur Traffic chief Sitaram Hachhethu, who is coordinating the traffic on the route, said 50 traffic police personnel have been deployed in the area. “Among them, 21 traffic police were added last week,” he said. Meanwhile, traffic police have nabbed 46 vehicles for overcharging travellers. “Though the traffic flow is increasing day by day, complaints of overcharging has gradually come down,” Hachhethu said, adding that it was possible due to regular inspection of vehicles plying the route. It was learnt that passengers were compelled to pay up to Rs 100 for travelling the 8.7 km distance Satdobato to Godavari though the regular fair was just Rs 27.
In the second week of the fair, the Satdobato Traffic Police Circle placed five flex signboards at Laganhel and Satdobato requesting pilgrims to lodge complaints if they are overcharged. Officials said they charge Rs 2,000 to 5,000 if transport entrepreneurs are found to be involved in charging extra fare.
Organisers said they have also installed CCTVs cameras at various locations in the fair area and mobilised over 150 security personnel. They said no unwanted incident has been reported though the over 150,000 people visit the area every day, they claimed.