Pune: As a part of the diamond jubilee celebration, the Aga Khan Trust of Pune has booked 60 Shivshahi air-conditioned buses to facilitate disciples to meet the spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslim community, Prince Karim, the Aga Khan, who will be in Mumbai on March 1. Interestingly, this is for the first time, a huge number of Shivshahi buses have been booked by any individual or trust, for an event.
Srinivash Joshi, Divisional Controller, Pune MSRTC, said this is the first time for Pune division that a huge number of Shivshahi buses have been booked by any individual.
“The trust has booked the 60 buses for a one-day visit from Pune to Mumbai. Currently, Pune division has 64 buses in its fleet and we are providing these buses to them without any disruption of services. Transport Minister Diwakar Raote has taken up the task personally and accordingly, the buses will be provided from Kolhapur, Raigad and other divisions,” Joshi said. The technical team will also be with the bus to tackle any technical problems, he said.
As per the rule, the division has charged Rs 54 per kilometre for one side from the trust and the toll will also be paid by the trust.
Munir Merchant, member of the trust in Pune, said, “Around 2,500 disciples will go to Mumbai for a one-day visit. We asked the division to provide us with the buses, as it is safe and secure during a journey.”
Currently on a 10-day visit to India, the Aga Khan has visited Delhi and Gujarat, to be followed by Hyderabad and Mumbai.
The Aga Khan IV, who resides in France, took over as the head of the community from his grandfather Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah, who was the 48th Imam of Nizari Ismailis, around 60 years ago on July 11, 1957.
Ismaili Muslims are spread across 25 countries, with a population of around 10 lakh in India, which constitutes many businessmen. The community belongs to the Shia branch of Islam.