The South Western Railways will operate 12 additional train services from Bengaluru and Hassan to Shravanabelagola during the Mahamastakabhisheka to be held from February 7 to 26.
A.K. Gupta, General Manager of SWR, inspected the Hassan and Shravanabelagola stations on Friday.
According to a release issued by SWR on Saturday, the frequency and number of services will be announced later. During the Mahamastakabhisheka held in 2006, only a few trains were run between Hassan and Shravanabelagola, as the track between Hassan and Bengaluru was not ready then.
“This time, SWR is gearing up to handle enhanced passenger traffic. Adequate additional temporary booking counters will be opened at Hassan and Shravanabelagola,” Mr. Gupta said.
A temporary Passenger Reservation System will be opened at Shravanabelagola. And arrangements for temporary structures, including waiting hall and toilets, are being planned. “Additional stalls for food and beverages will be planned at Hassan. For uninterrupted power supply, back-up generators are also being planned. CCTV and high-speed WiFi will be provided at Hassan and Shravanabelagola stations,” he said.
The Mahamastakabhisheka draws pilgrims in lakhs during the period and hence the railway authorities said cleaning arrangements for ensuring hygiene are being worked out.
R.S. Saxena, DRM of Bengaluru Division, Atul Gupta of Mysuru Division, and P. Lamghare, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, accompanied the General Manager for the inspection.
Mahamastakabhisheka, the head anointing ceremony of Lord Gommateswara at Shravanabelagola is being celebrated once in 12 years. The holy event will be conducted from 7th Feb 2018 to 26thFeb 2018.
South Western Railway is planning to run additional train services to Shravanabelagola from Benagluru/Hassan to facilitate pilgrims during the period. Shri A K Gupta, General Manager, SWR has inspected Hassan & Shravanabelagola stations on 13.10.2017 in connection with preparatory arrangements and to plan necessary passenger amenities for convenience of the passengers expected to turnout in large numbers during Mahamastakabhisheka. He was accompanied by Divisional Railway Managers of Bengaluru & Mysuru Sri R.S.Saxena ,Atul Gupta and various heads of departments. Shri P Lamghare, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer , Shri U S S Yadav, Principal Chief Engineer, Shri Rajeev Kumar, Principal Chief Electrical Engineer , Shri John Prasad, Principal Chief Operations Manager & Shri K Siva Prasad, Principal Chief CommercialManager were present in the inspection.
A press release of SWR stated that 12 additional services are being planned from Bengaluru/Hassan to Shravanabelagola during the celebrations. Frequency and number of services will be announced in due course. Shri A K Gupta stated that in 2006 the section from Hassan to Bengaluru having Shravanabelagola station was not open for passenger traffic and only few trains were run between Hassan to Shravanabelagola. But this time SWR is gearing up to handle enhanced passenger traffic as this section has been made operational in March this year. Adequate additional temporary booking counters will be opened at Hassan & Shravanabelagola. A temporary PRS will be opened at Shravanabelagola. Arrangements to erect temporary structures for waiting hall & toilets are being planned. In addition a control room will also be opened by Railways at Hassan & Shravanabelagola. A helpdesk will also be provided at these stations to facilitate passengers.
Additional stalls for food and beverages will be planned at Hassan. For uninterrupted power supply backup generators are also being arranged. CCTV & High speed Wi-Fi at Hassan & Shravanabelagola stations will be provided. Coordination with Stage Govt. for security, first aid and water supply will be ensured. Cleaning arrangements for ensuring hygiene are being worked out. Mobilizing extra rakes and staff to cater this significant event is on the way. Sri Gupta has stated that all out efforts are being made by South Western Railway to organize Railway portion of the prestigious event successfully.
The team of officers later met the Seer of Shravanabelagola Digambar Jain Matha and sought his guidance.