Rashmi Ranjan

The Mahadeepa is scheduled to be raised atop the Dhabaleswar temple in Athagarh between 1.30 am and 2 am on Maha Shivratri marking an end to the day-long fasting of devotees. A decision in this regard was taken during a preparatory meeting held on Sunday.

The shrine will be opened for the devotees at 3 am on Maha Shivratri, which falls on February 18. 

As the hanging bridge has been closed owing to repair works, devotees can reach the shrine using the fair weather bridge constructed for pedestrian use on the Mahanadi River, sources said.

Besides, 15 platoons of police force including seven DSPs and one additional SP will be deployed during the Jagara Jatra for crowd management and to avoid any untoward incident.

"We had a detailed discussion during the preparatory meeting today. All concerned departments will work according to the plans. I have asked the concerned authorities to monitor the traffic on the fair weather bridge," said Bhabani Shankar Chayani, Cuttack Collector.

"The police department has made all necessary arrangements for Jagara Jatra. More emphasis will be given to crowd control, traffic management and fair weather road," informed Ranjit Kumar Prusty, a senior police officer.

(Reported by Nilakantha Dora, OTV)