A tight security blanket has been thrown around the pilgrim town of Puri ahead of the two-day scheduled visit of President Ramnath Kovind, beginning on February 19.
Top Odisha Police officials on Tuesday reviewed the security arrangements at several locations in the town and held discussion with local police and administrative officials to fine-tune the preparedness.
Narasingha Bhol, IG (Central Range) and ADG (Intelligence) Radha Krishna Sharma, along with district Collector, Samarth Verma and Superintendent of Police (SP), Kanwar Vishal Singh visited the Raj Bhawan where the President is likely to stay during the visit.
The senior cops also took stock of the security arrangements at Talabania Helipad, Saradhabali open air podium and Sri Chaitanya Goudia Mutt where the President is scheduled to visit.
“I along with the IG and Puri SP reviewed the security arrangements of the places where the President is scheduled to visit after his arrival in Puri. At least 40 platoons of police, including 12 Additional DSPs and other higher ranking officials, will be deployed in the city to ensure security during the President’s visit,” informed Sharma.
Meanwhile, Puri district collector Samarth Verma said that the Chief Secretary took a meeting yesterday to review the preparations and gave details of the programmes of the President.
“The Chief Secretary reviewed the preparations ahead of the visit of the President to the city. The President will arrive on February 19 afternoon and head to the Jagannath temple for darshan in the same evening,” informed Verma.
“We are making arrangements at Raj Bhawan for the President’s night halt. A written request has been sent to the President’s office for approval in this regard. As soon as we received the permission, we will finalise the arrangements for his stay,” added the Collector.
Kovind will arrive at Puri’s Talabani helipad at around 4.30 pm and visit the Lord Jagannath Temple between 5-5.45 pm.
On February 20, the President will visit the Sri Chaitanya Goudia Mutt at 10.30 am to offer prayers to Srimad Bhakti Siddhant Goswamy Prabhupad. At 10.35 am, he is scheduled to inaugurate the three-year long celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the founder of the Goudia mission.
The President will address a gathering of followers of Seer Prabhupada at Saradhabali open air podium for one hour and return to Bhubaneswar thereafter.
On the other hand, the Srimandir in Puri will remain closed for a few hours on February 19 on account of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the 12th Century shrine