Hop on, hop off to beat chaos this festive season

The city has close to 7-8 lakh people from eastern states along with others who take part in Durga Pooja festivities

The festive season may not after all cast a “dark” spell on the city. A few eco-friendly initiatives are about to turn around the pollution situation during Dasara, reports Niranjan Kaggere from Bengaluru. IT professionals and migrant communities have launched Puja Parikrama — a hop-on hop-off bus service for Durga Pooja and Navaratri festivities.

The city has close to 7-8 lakh people from eastern states along with others who take part in festivities. “If all of them were to flock to pandals in their own vehicles, it would only add to traffic chaos and pollution. Hence, free buses are operated to ferry devotees between various locations on nine different routes,” said Rudra Shankar Roy, a techie and adviser to Maitree Bandhaan, the Bengali association behind the initiative.

Roy said the concept was fast catching up in West Bengal where the chief minister has linked it to tourism activities at affordable cost. “We have replicated the same concept in Bengaluru free of cost to attract more people,” he said.

Sandeep Shome, general secretary of Maitree Bandhaan, said, “The Parikrama concept, aimed at reducing traffic congestion and carbon footprint during this festive season, is being implemented for the first time in Bengaluru.”

Three buses will ferry devotees. “It would be like a hop-on hop-off service. The buses will keep shuttling between various locations and anybody can board and visit any pooja destination. Details of the services and contacts are displayed at all pandals. Services are available at KR Puram, BTM Layout, RT Nagar, Kadugodi, Electronic City, Yeshwantpur, Whitefield, Jalahalli and Bannerghatta Road. It will be available from October 16 to October 18,” Roy said.

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