Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Feb 26:
The Odisha government has decided to declare the area in and around the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri as a no flying zone during the Nabakalebara Yatra.
A high level review meeting on traffic and crowd control during Nabakalebara Yatra held here Wednesday decided to put the restriction in effect in the area in and around Shree Mandir after the search for daru (neem trees for making of idols) is completed.
The meeting worked out on different strategies and actions to be adopted for crowd control both inside and outside Shree Mandir during the mega Nabakalebara Yatra wherein a crowd of 50 lakh is expected. Also steps will be taken for a foolproof traffic control system. In order to keep the crowd under control around the chariots and the Shree Mandir, 30 wide screen televisions will be installed at important locations where people can watch Rath Yatra, Bahuda Yatra, Sunabesh and other rituals directly from the Rath Khala-the place where the chariots are parked in front of the Shree Mandir.
Special arrangements will be made for darshan inside the temple premises. Steps will be taken for dhadi (queue) darshan and conduct of different rituals through different entrances of the temple and for entry of devotees in phases. Baggage scanners will be installed in the entrances of the temple. A total 300 CCTV cameras will be installed at bus stands, railway station and different points in the town to keep vigil as well as keep an eye on crowd movement. Vehicles will not be allowed into Puri town as crowds begin to grow for the Nabakalebara Yatra. Entry and exit charts will be prepared for allowing vehicles coming from Bhubaneswar into parking places. Bypasses at Biraharkrushnapur, Maltipatapur and Gopalpur will be used for effective traffic control during the Nabakalebara Yatra.
Identification of unsafe buildings in the pilgrim town has been completed and these building will be sealed during the festival to avoid any mishaps like building collapse etc. Places have been identified for parking and rest sheds. Till date the ground in front of BNR, Jatrika, premises of Hotel Nilachal Ashok, Samagra, ground near Indoor stadium, ground alongside Puri ITI and ground owned by the Tourism department at Baliguali have been identified for parking places. Apart from these additional land required for parking will be estimated and indentified.
In view of large crowds expected both at the bus stand and railway station at Malatipatapur which are located at either side and the national highway passing through them a foot over-bridge will be constructed to connect the two.
A cloak room will be constructed near the Shree Mandir for tourists and devotees to keep their valuables and baggage. Road around the four sides of the Shree Mandir will be widened by another 30 feet.
In the meeting it was discussed that VVIP guests coming from both inside and outside the state will be kept in Bhubaneswar, arrangements will be made for their safe transport to Puri during the Nabakalebara Yatra amid tight security.
The meeting, chaired by additional chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, was attended by secretary Home, DGP, director Intelligence and Research, IG (Central), special secretary Power, chief administrator Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, collector Puri, officials of the NHAI and senior officials of other concerned departments.