Tight security steps for Rath Yatra

Puri: With the world famous Rath Yatra less than a week away, the Odisha Government on Thursday decided to take a slew of security measures to prohibit any untoward incident during the occasion.

While as many as 110 platoons of OSAP (Odisha State Armed Police) force will be deployed across the temple town to maintain law and order, four platoons of RAF (Rapid Action Force) will be pressed into service during the car festival, officials, after attending a review meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik here said.

Like every year, coast guard patrolling will be intensified during this time to keep an eye on any suspicious movements along the Puri coast. This apart, the district administration will assign 400 lifeguards during the nine-day festival to avert any mishaps at the stretch of Puri beach.

It was also decided in the meeting that a coast guard ship will patrol round the clock close to the Puri coast during the occasion to meet any eventuality. Besides, a chopper will be deployed for aerial surveillance to provide security to lakhs of devotees who participate in the annual festival.

Authorities of the East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Thursday said that two dozen CCTV cameras will be installed at the Puri railway station to keep a watch on troublemakers and monitor public movements.

Though preparations for the mega festivity are in full swing, the State Government is pulling all stops to avert any possible disruption of the yatra.

The annual car festival which falls on July 10 this year is expected to pull at least a million crowd.