Cuttack: Upholding the maritime glory of ancient Odisha, the week-long annual Baliyatra festival began on the bank of river Mahanadi, close to the majestic Barabati fort here on Sunday.
Like Dusshera and other current festivals, the Baliyatra festival here would be observed on a low key as the state was ravaged by cyclone Phailin, unprecedented rains and floods recently.
Over 1,300 makeshift stalls have come up on the two fair grounds on the sprawling river bed and the adjoining Killa Maidan spreading over 37 acres.
With some initial hiccups, plots of the fair grounds were allotted to different vendors and the stage is now set for the annual extravaganza of the city.
The city police in the meanwhile have made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order in and around the fair grounds as lakhs of revellers would be visiting here everyday.
Police have also refurbished the traffic arrangements in the nearby main roads with traffic restrictions.
As a precautionary measure, the entire fair ground is being monitored with close-circuit television cameras. The city police would be deploying adequate police force and shall monitor the situation with different kind of force, including quick reaction teams.
The stalls in the fair ground would be showcasing wide range household articles, including ethnic items, electronic gadgets and food items. The Meenabazar of the ground would be missing the giant wheels, as the district administration has banned them for last year’s mishap.