Diwali rush: Over 75k throng Statue of Unity in 5 days
Kevadia/Surat: The Statue of Unity turned out to be a major tourist attraction with more than 75,000 people thronging the site during the Diwali holidays, from Tuesday to Saturday. As many as 25,000 tourists visited the site at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district, on Saturday alone, officials said.
However, hundreds went back disappointed as they couldn’t view the Sardar Sarovar Dam from the observation deck constructed at 153-metre on the world’s tallest statue (182 metre). Booking for the deck was closed within two hours of opening at 9am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The unexpected rush made it difficult for the officials to manage the crowd. The parking lots were full and number of tourist buses was insufficient.
Rajnish Agarwal, who came from MP, said, “We reached around 12pm on Friday but the ticket window for the observation deck was closed. We saw the museum, the dam and Valley of Flowers. The main purpose of coming here was to ha- ve a view of the area from the deck, but this was not possible. Our kids were disappointed.” A visitor from Ahmedabad had reached the site with family and friends around 1pm on Friday. They too were upset.
“There was huge rush of people from the state and those from Rajasthan, MP and Maharashtra,” said Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd chief engineer PC Vyas. “There can’t be over 3,000 visitors in the viewing gallery. But we allowed 6,500 visitors on Friday.” Vyas said over last one week Rs 2.25 crore was generated from ticket sales.
However, hundreds went back disappointed as they could not view the Sardar Sarovar Dam from the observation deck at 153 metres