Dormitories have been built for thousands of followers.
Shirdi Sai Trust, Chennai, has completed and handed over all the buildings and facilities of the Sai Ashram project to Shri Saibaba Sansthan, Shirdi.
Justice J.M. Kulkarni, Sansthan chairman, received the documents from K.V. Ramani, founder and managing trustee of the Trust.
M.P.B.R. Wakchaure, executive officer, Kishore More, J.M. Sasane, former chairman, who initiated the Sai Ashram project, and other VIPs were present during the brief function.
The project was taken up by the Chennai Trust to provide good and affordable accommodation to devotees coming to Shirdi for darshan of Saibaba.
The MoU for construction of Sai Ashram was signed with the Sansthan in February 2006, for providing accommodation to 10,000 devotees, on about six lakh sq.ft, at a cost of Rs. 25 crores, to be completed in 18 months.
The Sansthan made land of 19.68 acres available for the construction of Sai Ashram, in two locations in July 2007.
Shirdi Sai Trust started the project in September 2007 and has now completed the full construction of Sai Ashram Phase 1 with 1,536 rooms and Phase 2 with 192 dormitories that can accommodate 14,000 devotees on a constructed area of about 9.6 lakh sq.ft, at a total cost of about Rs. 110 crores. The escalation of cost and the constructed area caused the delay.
The entire Sai Ashram project has been fully funded by Shirdi Sai Trust, Chennai. The project has been executed with the involvement and contribution from about 12 contractors and service providers.
Shri Saibaba Sansthan, Shirdi, has provided all external services including roads and walkways, electricity, street lights and water supply at a cost of about Rs 45 crores. The facility includes a common service block with a restaurant and an open air theatre (OAT).
Both sites have been landscaped with 1,350 trees, 50,000 plants and shrubs and 27,000 sq. ft. of lawn.
To conserve natural resources, two STPs have been provided and recycled water is used for toilets and other purposes. Solar water heater is used for supply of hot water in all the rooms.
The complex will be inaugurated once security and administration arrangements are taken care of. The rooms will be available to all devotees for booking at Shirdi Sansthan office in Shirdi.
Advance reservation can also be made from Sansthan Information Centres in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore and also online from the Sansthan website.
Contact 91-44-2744 4090/2744 4091. Web: www.shirdisaitrust.org. Email: kvramani@ shirdisaitrust.org
Mohan Yadav, Public Relation Officer, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi. Post: Shridi, Tal: Rahata, Dist: Ahmednagar, M.S (INDIA), 423109. Phone (02423) 258928, 258500. Fax:- (02423) 258770. Help Line :- (02423) 258999. For all types of communications use - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, saibaba@ shrisaibabasansthan.org,
For online advance darshan/aarti passes and accommodation booking facility, visit http://online.sai.org.in
Among the many activities that the SST engages itself in are spreading the message of Shirdi Sai, building Sai Mandirs and providing medical and education facilities for the needy.