Vrindavan, 2016.01.20 (TNN): The decision to ban movement of outside vehicles in Vrindavan on weekends has drawn mixed response from the ascetic community and residents of the temple town. The management of Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan has opposed the administration’s decision to ban movement of outside vehicles on weekends. It said that such a move will deter pilgrims from visiting one of the oldest temples in the city.
Gopesh Goswami, media in-charge of Bankey Bihari temple, said: “It is an irrational decision taken by the district administration without involving members of temples. It will make no change as autorickshaws and battery-operated vehicles run riot in the city and police have no control over them. These vehicles choke the narrow alleys of the city. If the new move is implemented, pilgrims will have to restrict their visits to those temples that are located at the entrance of Vrindavan.”
Goswami added that a delegation of temple board members would soon meet administrative officials and oppose the move. “Instead of putting a complete ban, the authorities should first assess the number of vehicles that could be accommodated at the various parking lots in the city and allow the entry of that many four-wheelers,” he added.
Bankey Bihari temple priest Ashish Goswami said: “The move will undermine tourism in the area. The idea should be to provide facilities to pilgrims and tourists visiting the city and not harass them.”
Brij Kishor, a local panda, added that this would also affect the earnings of people like him who help pilgrim during their visits.
Meanwhile, local residents are quite happy with the decision. Rupam Krishan Upadhyay, a katha vachak and local resident, said: “It is a nightmare for us to come out on the road during the weekend. Many of us feel like we are put under house arrest. It is a good move by the administration and should be implemented strictly.”
When contacted, Vrindavan city magistrate Vijay Kumar told TOI: “I have received no complaints from temple authorities in the matter so far. This step is being done to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. We will put auto-rickshaws on the route which will drop tourists to the various temples. Besides that locals will be issued passes so that they can move freely in the city.”
To deal with chaotic traffic and hours-long jams in Vrindavan, the Mathura administration had decided to put a ban on the entry of four-wheelers coming from outside the city into the temple town during weekends. The rule will be applicable on festival days too.
The weekends usually witnesses bumper-to-bumper traffic in the city, with both local residents as well as pilgrims jostling for space to park their vehicles.
It has been decided that the ban on outside vehicles will be applicable from 6am to 9pm every weekend and on festival days.
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