MUMBAI: There will be "no VIP or VVIP movement" in Nashik during the days of 'royal bath' at the ongoing Kumbh Mela to ensure that seers and devotees do not face any inconvenience, Maharashtra Government today said.
State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the Guardian Minister of Nashik, said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to take part in the 'royal bath' event, he directed the state government to ensure that there is no VIP or VVIP movement in the area during this period.
"The intention was that devotees should be able to take part in the event without there being fears of law and order problem as crores of people are expected to be in Nashik during these days," Mahajan said in response to a Calling Attention Motion moved by NCP MLC Jayantrao Jadhav in the Legislative Council.
The dates for 'shahi snan' (royal bath), when seers of various 'akharas' (sects of sadhus) come in processions and take dip in the river in large numbers in Trimbakeshwar and Nashik are August 29, September 13, 18 and 25.
Jadhav had raised the issue of basic amenities being provided to devotees in Nashik during the Kumbh Mela.
Replying to Jadhav, Mahajan said, "The government has made arrangements of all basic amenities and is also trying to make separate living space available for female seers."
He admitted that a part of the food grains given to Nashik have not reached and added that there will be an inquiry into what caused the delay in the disbursement.
When the Opposition alleged that pesticides worth Rs 4.5 crore were provided without being asked for by the Nashik Municipal Corporation, Mahajan said that an inquiry will be conducted into the charges.
While replying to Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) MLC Jayant Patil's allegation of favouritism with regard to staying facilities provided to seers, the minister said that the government only provides land for their living. The land is converted into living spaces by seers themselves according to their needs, he added.