Tight security in place for Rath Yatra

Puri: With the world famous Rath Yatra less than two months away, the state government has decided to put in place elaborate security for smooth conduct of the grand festivity in the pilgrim town.

Talking to media persons after the second Rath Yatra Coordination Committee meeting here today which was presided over by Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central), AB Ota, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi said as regards the plan of arrangements for the police for the ensuing Rath Yatra, the focus would be on crowd management, traffic management and security arrangement.

“Like the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra last year, about 50 platoons of police would be deployed for this year’s Rath Yatra. Apart from this, about 100 police officers would be on duty to control the crowd. For traffic management, as the road to Grand Road via district headquarters hospital has been closed and a new road has been opened at Mangala Haat, our efforts would be to divert the traffic and allow the vehicles to enter into Puri town and park these vehicles at a place which will not pose problems for the people during the festival. While leaving Puri, the vehicles would be allowed to move out through one-way traffic,” Sarangi said.

Besides, specific measures have been taken to provide security to the VVIPs and common man. To keep a strict vigil on suspicious elements, police has formed an anti-sabotage unit which, in coordination with the Municipal authorities, will collect detailed information about the people staying in slum areas. “Plain-clothed policemen would be deployed in the slum areas of the town to keep a strict vigil on these elements,” the SP added.

Asked about the decision taken at the meeting, the RDC said the concerned departments have prepared their agenda and plan of action about the completion of their respective project work in a specified time frame. “We have told these departments that the government would take action against them if they fail to complete their work in time,” he informed.

About the ongoing construction of road from the district headquarters hospital to Atharanala, Ota said the road cannot be completed before the festival. However, arrangements have been made to make the road motorable.

Talking about the health care facilities in the district headquarters hospital, he said there has been slight improvement. “Going by the pace of work in the hospital, I hope that there would be much improvement in health care facility in the hospital before the Rath Yatra,” he pointed out.