Saturday, October 30, 2010

Revamping Of The Shirdi Sai Temple Complex

The Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Trust has cleared a New Floor Plan, approved by architect Hafeez Contactor, for the Shirdi Temple Complex. It will cut waiting time for devotees by half.

The Project proposes demolishing the existing Waiting Hall and replacing it with an Air-Conditioned Hall for 25,000 pilgrims. The Plan was approved at the last meeting of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, which runs the Shrine.

Other new facilities in the Revamped Temple Complex will be a moving walkway or a Conveyor Belt for the disabled / elderly pilgrims. This Conveyor Belt will take them right next to Sai Baba's Samadhi in the Temple’s Sanctum.

The Project is expected to cost Rs.60 crore and the work will start in two months, said Jayant Sasane chairman of the Temple Trust. The Sai Baba Temple receives 25,000 devotees daily. But on Thursdays and festive days, the number reaches nearly 1 lakh. On rush days, pilgrims have to wait in a queue stand for an average of 3 hrs. Sometimes, the waiting time goes up to 5 hrs.

Trustee Sami Khatib said at present, devotees have to walk a lot before reaching the Samadhi. “The new plan, which was passed with few modifications, will not only reduce the waiting time but also help regulate the flow of pilgrims. Now that we have finished other facilities that were planned in Shirdi, including a hospital, we will be able to concentrate on the Main Complex,” he said.

Contractor visited the Sai Temple few days back. Trust officials said he will give his approval for a selected plan in two weeks. Contractor said, “They (the Shirdi trust) have asked for my advice, but nothing has been finalised yet.”

Narendra Rajput, a Sion-Koliwada resident who visits the Shrine every month, said,
“Unless the Trust stops giving preference to VIPs, no amount of new facilities will help ordinary pilgrims.”

Article By: Rohit Behal

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