‘Hop-on, hop-off’ in south Mumbai soon

CNG buses to make it walk in Sanjay Gandhi park

The Maharashtra tourism department will start internationally popular 'hop-on, hop-off' air-conditioned (AC) buses on three dedicated routes in south Mumbai and CNG buses in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

Tourists can board the 'hop-on, hop-off' buses at any designated halt for basic commuting to the next destination. They can buy tickets for all routes for three to seven days.

A committee under the BMC commissioner has been formed to plan a tourist-friendly city.

BEST will give 10 AC buses for the routes after Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) comes up with a detailed financial model in the next two months.

BEST has also agreed to run CNG buses for tourists to travel to various points in SGNP. The forest department has agreed to allow the three rest houses in the park for tourism purposes.

"Mumbai is the only city in the country with a national park, 11 forts, a coastline and ancient caves. There are parts with architectural and historical value. We want to increase tourist potential of Mumbai," said minister for tourism Chhagan Bhujbal.

Other plans for the city include Bollywood tourism through a tie-up with Film City Corporation, in which tourists will get to visit sets and shooting locations and participate in recordings on weekends.

Trial runs for Bollywood tourism were successful last year. Five Volvo buses will leave Prabhadevi for Film City in Goregaon that houses studios. "There is large tourism potential in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai," said Jagdish Patil, MTDC managing director.

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