Damodar Ropeways & Infra Ltd., which is India’s leading company in the ropeways field has undertaken a massive facilities upgradation at its Maa Sharda Temple Ropeway, Maihar. Situated in the Satna District of Madhya Pradesh on a 367 metres high hill, the company has been running ropeway services and providing easy access to devotees to reach the temple.Massive efforts undertaken by DRIL to ensure safe travel for devoteesSays Aditya Chamaria, Managing Director, Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited (DRIL), “Keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of the large number of people who are going to be coming to Maihar for the Navratri Mela we have planned a major improvement in the passenger amenities. From washrooms to drinking water facilities and wider covered pathways and ticketing areas. It includes everything to make the pilgrimage a smooth affair. All work being done is permanent so that even beyond the Mela, the Yatris will continue to get the benefit of the increased facilities, amenities and conveniences which we are adding/renovating.”Workers have been deployed to carry a range of tasks which includes maintenance and upgradation of existing facilities and construction of new amenities for pilgrimsThe major areas of work under progress include:Washroom facilitiesDrinking Water facilitiesDrainage & SewageA Permanent, Covered and wider walkway with rubber mats to the ticketing queueMedical facilitiesFirefighting abilitiesPainting and renovation of the entire campusAdditionally, to decrease the pressure in ticketing queues DRIL is adding:A tele-ticketing and helpline number 18008913989.Zero Convenience fee Navratri offer on tickets booked on the www.ropeways.com website.Enhancement of the existing QR code-based ticketing system. To begin with, the company has started work on adding 8 mens urinals and 4 womens urinals as well as creating 1 new toilet for physically challenged persons keeping in mind the problems faced by wheelchair-bound persons. The existing toilet facilities are also being given a major facelift with better and more modern fittings, brighter lights, more ventilation etc. The free drinking water facilities are being further increased. Provision has been made for the availability of free water at multiple points while the pilgrims wait in the queue. Filtered drinking water is currently available at two points. This is being increased to four locations with multiple taps as well as multiple water jars in the queue area. Packaged Bottled drinking water will also be available at MRP at the cafeteria and the retail points within the queue area and near the exit gate. On the sewage/drainage front, the company is renovating the entire sewage and drainage system. This has enabled the setting up of a more robust system which is expected to make the yatris journeys more comfortable. Permanently covered walkways leading from the main gate to the existing ticketing queue area are being constructed on a war footing and are expected to be ready before the mela. This shaded area is being erected to ensure that the pilgrims entering barefoot get more comfort. Further, the six-foot-wide paved path is being expanded to about nine feet. Rubber mats have also been added for the people to walk as it usually gets extremely hot at the noon. Moreover, the number of fans in the queue area has been increased to 150% to ensure better air circulation for the comfort of the passengers. The medical and ambulance facilities are also being upgraded. 3 first aid areas and kits as prescribed by the mandir samity medical team have been already created. The existing Ambulance is being renovated to include Oxygen cylinder capabilities. 4 new wheelchairs have been added for the easy movement of the physically challenged yatris. Healthcare personnel along with medical staff and all the necessary facilities will also be available in association with the Mandir smites medical team to take care of any emergency situation. The number of security guards & housekeeping staff is being increased to ensure cleanliness and more prompt/better services for all pilgrims. Firefighting training has been given to the personnel and first responders within the DRIL and security teams. 5 New modern CeaseFire’s fire extinguishers have been added at locations identified via an internal safety assessment carried out by DRIL in anticipation of the additional footfalls during the Mela. To ensure that the pilgrims spend less time in queue Damodar Ropeways has also recently started tele-booking facility on its helpline number 18008913989 and its website www.ropeways.com while charging 0 convenience fee during the Navratras. This will enable people to call and book their tickets in advance or online so that they do not have to stand in the ticketing queue. The existing online real-time ticketing and scanning systems with inbuilt unique QR codes are also being upgraded.Aditya Chamaria, Managing Director, Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited (DRIL), adds that “We are deeply committed to the people of Maihar and all devotees of Maa Sharda. In spite of the fact that the ticketing rates have not been increased for almost 4 years now, and the fact that we sustained heavy losses during Corona; we also incurred extremely higher cost of operations post corona due to an increase in all input costs as well as a major blow in terms of no longer being able to set off the GST inputs against capital equipment/spares and consumables that we require for the proper O&M of any ropeway, we are still investing in Maihar. We believe that Maa Sharda is always watching us and our devotion toward her and in providing comfort to her pilgrims will bear fruit sooner rather than later. We pray that our pending requests for rate revisions will soon be taken up by the administration.” Damodar Ropeways is committed to safe and worry-free pilgrimage. The company has taken several steps to improve safety and deployed a thorough safety audit system besides developing a proper evacuation plan in case of a mishap. The measures taken by Damodar Ropeways will make the Navratri Festival at Maihar Devi Temple a memorable and enjoyable event for all pilgrims.