Di­wali rush: Over 75k throng Statue of Unity in 5 days

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

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

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