MSRTC to start ‘Vitthai’ for Pandharpur devotees

ST Correspondent
Monday, 30 July 2018

In a coincidence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his broadcast ‘Mann Ki baat ,’ on Sunday, said that we should at least once walk in a Wari, while Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) announced recently that it will soon start a bus service for devotees for Pandharpur coming from all parts of the State. The bus will be named ‘Vitthai’ and will be available with a package of ‘Travel, Living and Meal’ for the devotees on demand.

Pune: In a coincidence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his broadcast ‘Mann Ki baat,’ on Sunday, said that we should at least once walk in a Wari, while Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) announced recently that it will soon start a bus service for devotees for Pandharpur coming from all parts of the State. The bus will be named ‘Vitthai’ and will be available with a package of ‘Travel, Living and Meal’ for the devotees on demand.

Every year, lakhs of devotees along with ‘warkaris’ travel to Pandharpur to worship Lord Vitthal on Ashadhi Ekadashi. Hundreds of devotees travel to Pandharpur from different parts of the country. During the 21 days of pilgrimage, only a few buses are run by the State transport. Several devotees hire private buses to go to Pandharpur. Considering the situation, the transport body has decided to start a new bus service ‘Vitthai’ for devotees travelling to Pandharpur. It is the brainchild of Divakar Raote, Transport Minister of State.

According to officials of MSRTC, Pune division, “Besides the Pandharpur pilgrims, thousands of devotees travel to Pandharpur for darshan of Lord Vitthal every day. Several come in private vehicles. The devotees are charged exorbitantly by the private operators. Hence, the State transport department has decided to start bus service for devotees with the name of Lord Vitthal. The bus service will start within a few months and will be made available in all divisions as well as in small villages. The fare of the bus will be affordable for every passenger.”

“If they are coming in a group, the passengers have to provide the group list and have to register with the division office. The accommodation and food will be arranged by the State transport department. This will stop financial loot by private vehicle operators,” said the official.

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