Rath Yatra: Coordination committee sets June 25 deadline to complete all preparations

Puri: With less than a month left for annual Rath Yatra festival in Puri, emphasis is now being given on completing necessary preparations at the earliest. Moreover, concerned departments have been directed to complete the necessary pending works by June 25.

Around 155 platoons of police force will be deployed in the pilgrim city during Rath Yatra, informed Inspector General of Police (Central Range) Soumendra Priyadarshi after the third Rath Yatra coordination committee meeting held under chairmanship of Law Minister Pratap Jena here on Thursday.

“A total of 155 platoons of force and over 1,000 officers will be engaged during the festival in the city. Besides, five IGPs, Additional DG and DGP will monitor the arrangements,” said Priyadarshi.

Two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) of CRPF and three companies of Odisha Swift Action Force will be deployed. Over 7,000 police personnel will be deployed for Rath Yatra this year, Priyadarshi said adding that the repair of CCTVs installed at different places is being undertaken on a war footing and all the CCTV cameras will be restored before Rath Yatra.

A special team comprising officials of the Health Department and led by the Puri Collector will be formed to review the crumbled healthcare facilities in the district. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was asked to keep five ambulances ready on the stretch between Puri and Bhubaneswar. NHAI officials have been directed asked to remove encroachments on highway to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic during the festival.

The Electricity department has also been directed to restore power supply in the district by June 30. It is pertinent to mention here that the power infrastructure in Puri suffered massive damage during Cyclone Fani which hit the State on May 3. Power supply is yet to be restored in several parts of Puri district.

As per official sources, 192 trains will run to Puri during the festival and the Railways will make arrangements to set up ticket booking counters at 62 places across the State including Puri.

The status of the Shree Jagannath Bana Prakalpa was also discussed during the meeting and the Forest Department has been asked to submit a report on the project within three months.