Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
An estimated 400 million devotees and pilgrims are expected to congregate in Prayagraj (Allahabad) during the ‘Mahakumbh Mela’ in 2025.
The Kumbh Mela is believed to be the world’s largest congregation of humanity on Earth.
In 2019 Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela, over 240 crore devotees had arrived in the holy town. While Rs 4,200 crore was spent in 2019 fair, the Uttar Pradesh government has estimated a budget of Rs 6,800 crore for the 2025 Mahakumbh Mela.
At the same time, the mega fair is proposed to be organised on a mammoth 3,700 hectares of land, an increase of 15 percent over last time.
Meanwhile, the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has planned to discard old and dilapidated buses and replenish fleet with 5,000 new buses ahead of the Mahakumbh.
While, 1,500 buses will join its fleet by Apr-May 2023, the UPSRTC will procure 2,000 more buses between Apr 2023 and Mar 2024. The remaining 1,500 buses will be purchased during Apr-Dec 2024, according to UPSRTC managing director Sanjay Kumar.
These buses, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, will entail an investment of about Rs 2,000 crore. Currently, there are 11,200 buses in the UPSRTC fleet.
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The new buses will be exclusively deployed to ferry passengers from long distances to the Mahakumbh. The buses will be made available every 10 minutes on each route to-and-fro Sangam City, an eponymous for Prayagraj.