Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and Prayagraj Mela Authority (PMA) on Thursday (28th February 2019) achieved a feat by setting a Guinness World Record for the largest parade of buses anywhere in the world. 503 special Kumbh Mela buses were paraded for this purpose in the city of Prayagraj. The record was earlier held by Abu Dhabi with a parade of 390 buses. The fleet of 503 buses was paraded on a stretch of 3.2 kilometres between Sahson toll and Nawabgaj toll plaza. Preparations for this record were made beforehand by Prayagraj Mela Authority (PMA) and UPSRTC.
The record attempt was to showcase the traffic management initiatives implemented to cater to the crores of pilgrims visiting the Mela area wherein roads were widened and 94 parking places covering a total of 1300 hectares of parking area were created within 1 to 5 kms of the Mela area. More than 1000 e-rickshaws and 500 shuttle buses were run to facilitate ease of movement of pilgrims. To assist pilgrims in finding the way and for efficient information dissemination, more than 1500 direction signages, 48 variable message signboards and 100 digital signages were set up all over Mela area. The Mela authorities and affiliated stakeholders diligently implemented Diversion schemes, Pedestrian Movement plan and Traffic Movement plan to ensure an enhanced pilgrimage experience for the pilgrims even on the peak days which saw footfall of close to 5 crores.
In line with the existing effort of Government of Uttar Pradesh to beautify Prayagraj, Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran launched Paint My City Campaign under which street art projects were undertaken all over Prayagraj. The campaign was conceptualised to provide a long-lasting legacy to the city of Prayagraj. The mural paintings exhibit the rich cultural diversity and heritage of Uttar Pradesh while providing insights of the mythological background of the Kumbh.
Under Paint My City Campaign, 15 lakh sq. ft of surface was painted as part of beautification and IEC plan of the city. The initiative also aimed at triggering behaviour change through message dissemination using art, allowing artists from all over the country to participate in the process. The campaign also engaged the community, students and volunteers alike while projecting Prayagraj and UP tourism to the world. The campaign, which was the largest street art project in the world, showcased the message and story of Kumbh to crores of pilgrims visiting Kumbh.
To celebrate the success of Paint My City Campaign, Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran attempted Guinness World Record on March 1, 2019 for “Most contributions to handprint painting in 8 hours” which was previously held by South Korea wherein 4675 people contributed to the record. It brings us great joy to announce that not only we surpassed the previous record in 4 hours 21 minutes but have also established a new record with 7644 contributions. This painting signifies the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati and the rich heritage of Kumbh.
The vision to attempt a Guinness World Record (GWR) for “most people sweeping the floor simultaneously in multiple venues” stemmed from the Swacch Kumbh initiative that became one of the defining factors of Kumbh 2019.
During the course of Kumbh Mela 2019, 20,000 Safai Karmcharis were deployed to keep the Kumbh area clean and maintain the sanctity of the land. The Karmcharis worked round the clock and were assisted in their endeavours by a group of 1500 Swacchagrahis who helped in instigating behaviour change and best practices. All over Kumbh, 20,000 dust bins with liner bags were placed and there was a concerted effort to encourage visitors to dispose their waste only in these dust bins. More than 1.15 lakh toilets were deployed to ensure it was an open-defecation-free and odour-free Kumbh and the overall initiative was the largest deployment of toilets, dust bins and solid waste management ever deployed in a mass-gathering event. Moreover, all the drains flowing into Ganga were either tapped into sewerage treatment plants or were treated by Bio-remedial Geotube techniques to ensure the river remains clean for the crores of pilgrims visiting for the holy dip.
The initiative turned out to be a resounding success as it visibly ensured in making Kumbh 2019 one of the cleanest mass gathering events in recent history. Thus, it was only fitting that the 3rd GWR attempt allowed 10,181 Safai Karmcharis to take centre stage and successfully set a new record by sweeping continuously for 2 minutes across 5 venues viz. Lal Marg (Sector 1), Lal Marg (Sector 2), Sangam Lower Marg, Sankat Mochan Marg and Kailash Puri Marg. The successful attempt was a testament to the unity, coordination and discipline which was needed to pull-off an ambitious initiative like Swacch Kumbh.