BULLOCK CARTS TRANSPORT TOURISTS TO AJANTA CAVES
With the fiasco happening due to the new regulation by Maharashtra Tourism Development Cooperation, the tourist land in trouble. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Cooperation has banned all vehicles, apart from eight to ten buses run by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, from going beyond the parking lot at the world heritage site. Vehicles are not allowed because of the narrow approach road and also to keep a check on the pollution levels around the caves. With the bus service having stopped owing to the strike, chaotic scenes erupted in the parking area of these world heritage sites.
The tourists due to this had to walk four kilometers to the heritage site of Ajanta Caves facing the inconvenience of heat and walking. However, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation will make alternative arrangements to ferry visitors till the strike continues. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation senior regional manager Annasaheb Shinde said they have roped in four private transporters to ferry visitors from Wednesday till the strike continues. It has been decided that the tourists will be charged 50 rupees per ride.
Taking advantage of the unavailability of transport for the tourists, the bullock cart riders took advantage of the opportunity. The bullock cart owners facilitated the transport of tourists from the parking lot to the Ajanta Caves. The distance between is of four kilometers which indeed becomes tiresome to walk in the heat. Owners charged 400-500 rupees per person for the bullock cart ride. Several tourists opted for the ride avoiding themselves from the scorching heat and walk.
Bernard Benjamin, an Australian tourist touring the Aurangabad city says “ I wasn’t really aware of any such transportation problem neither was our tour guide was aware of such a strike.” An uncalled strike caused inconvenience but measures are being taken by the in charge to fix the bridge to provide ease to the visitors. “Even though this caused a lot of problems in our schedule, I really enjoyed the bullock cart ride” said Julia Winlow. Sundeep Gaikwad, senior government tourist guide, said foreign tourists had to skip important spots at the historic site because of the transport debacle. “The tourism promoters' guild then took up the matter to the district collector, and it was decided that four buses would be arranged. The buses came in at 1.30pm to the ferry passengers transporting them to and from the parking lot," he said. During the transportation debacle regarding Ajanta Caves, the Ellora Caves were closed on Tuesday which resulted in more tourists visiting the Ajanta Cave. The tourism promoters’ guild president Jaswant Singh called the situation as "unfortunate". He said, "When the authorities knew that the strike was scheduled for Tuesday, they should have made alternative arrangements."
The main tourist spots of the city are the Ajanta and Ellora caves and to maintain the feasibility and convenience provided to the tourist, proper precaution and maintenance should be adhered.