Medical arrangements for Nabakalebar festival

Bhubaneswar: Under attack for tardy progress in works for Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebar festival, Odisha Government today said elaborate arrangements had been made for Rath Jatra on July 18 when 30 first-aid centres and 30 ambulances would provide service on the Grand Road in Puri.

As many as 2,000 volunteers along with 224 doctors will be deployed to provide emergency service in the pilgrim town,Development Commissioner U N Behera told reporters.

Behera was briefing about discussions made and decisions taken at review meeting on health and sanitation chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

It was decided to put in place 50 first aid centres and deploy 25 ambulances in the seaside town during the Nabakalebar Rath Jatra, apart from those serving on the Grand Road, he said.

He said a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) would be maintained for emergency service.

As many as 2,925 toilets have been set up for the mega festival in a bid to maintain proper sanitation. Round the clock service would be available in the pilgrim town till July 29, he added.

The state government has come under severe attack by opposition parties including Congress and BJP over pace of works for development of infrastructure for Nabakalebar festival. Leaders of both the political parties have alleged that most of the works relating to roads, drains, bridges, health, sanitation and drinking water facilities still remained incomplete.

Congress activists even tried to show black flags and stage protest when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Puri to inaugurate some infrastructure on Saturday.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Prasad Harichandan apprehended mismanagement and chaos during Rath Jatra saying preparations for the mega event were yet to be completed.