Odisha gears up for century’s first Nabakalebara Rath Yatra

Puri, July 3: Odisha government has convened the third Rath Yatra Coordination Committee to take stock of the preparedness including smooth conduct, crowd control, traffic management, security, health concerns and coordination between different departments during the Nabakalebara Ratha Yatra.

Law Minister Arun Sahu has been reviewed the progress of works by different departments in connection with the grand event where 50 lakh devotees are expected to throng the pilgrim town.

Since crowd management, traffic control, security and coordination between different departments will be a big challenge, control rooms have been set up in each department and there will be an integrated control room for inter-departmental coordination.

"Efforts are on for smooth and disciplined conduct of the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra. We extend our earnest thanks to all for their valuable suggestions and cooperation at today’s meeting," said Sahu speaking to the media.

Moreover, 10,000 policemen will be deployed in Puri during the Rath Yatra and monitoring will be done through CCTV cameras placed at strategic points.

"We have deployed 930 doctors and paramedics. We have discussed with police at today’s meeting on how to coordinate between these personnel, ambulance and 80-odd first-aid centres opened for the festival," said Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Minister Health & Family Welfare.

"There will be 24×7 control room for round the clock power supply to Puri which is first of its kind in Odisha. We have implemented the N-1-1 method for the purpose," said Pranab Prakash Das Minister Energy.

"Since more devotees are expected to visit Puri, this being the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra challenges will be more in every sphere be it infrastructure or security," said Soumendra Priyadarshi OSD, Nabakalebara.

"Every department has set up a control room of its own and one integrated control room for coordination between different departments has been set up," said Arvind Agarwal, collector Puri.

"Elaborate arrangements are being made for traffic and crowd control. Since length and number of roads have increased we are deploying more number of personnel," said Asish Singh, SP Puri.

However, chairman of Nabakalebara Infrastructure Supervision Committee Maheswar Mohanty said that everything will be completed by July 7.

Some Congress workers staged dharna on the issue of Law Minister Arun Sahu’s relations with Daitapatis in front of the meeting venue. While they tried to force their entry to the meeting venue they were stopped by the police.