Odisha Baliyatra begins

Cuttack, Nov 7: The week-long Baliyatra festival, the annual extravaganza to uphold the ancient maritime glory of Odisha, got off to a colourful start here on the Kartika Purnima on Thursday.

The festival, scheduled to continue till November 12, is expected to attract a large number of visitors from different parts of the state.

The Cuttack district administration has made elaborate arrangements in the two fair grounds where over 1300 makeshift stalls have come up showcasing the traditional and ethnic household and decorative items.

The fair grounds have come up on the sprawling Mahanadi riverbed and in front of the majestic Barabati fort. The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has prepared over 37 acres of land for the annual fair, which witnesses footfall of lakhs of revellers every day, CMC source said.

The city police have also geared up to maintain law and order with traffic management. Similarly, the state fire brigade has been kept in alert to meet any unfortunate eventuality.

Adequate measures have been taken to avert stampede-like situation, said a senior police officer adding that the number of entry and exit gates at the fair grounds have increased.

The inaugural ceremony, attended among others by state industries minister D P Mishra, was marked by a cultural programmes.

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