Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack/Bhubaneswar, Oct 1:
The Durga Puja festivities have begun in Odisha amid gaiety and fanfare today.
Devotees thronged puja pandals of the Goddess to have the darshan of Goddess Durga whose Mahasaptami ritual began in the morning today. The sandhi puja of the Goddess began around noon.
To ensure an incident-free Dussehra, the commissionerate police have beefed up tight security in the Twin City in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Taking to the newsmen in Cuttack on Tuesday, police commissioner Dr RP Sharma said three Quick Action Teams (QATs), anti-terrorist squads and anti-liquor squads, along with 60 platoons of armed police, have been deployed at 155 puja mandaps in the Silver City.
Besides, three Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) have been deployed at Daragha Bazaar, Mangalabag and Puri Ghat areas.
The commissionerate police have given special powers to 1000 civilians from various localities to act as special police officers (SPOs) for next five days, he said.
Considering the expensive medhas, puja mandaps have been classified into A, B and C categories.
While 77 security personnel have been deployed in category-A mandaps, 52 and 29 security personnel have been deployed for category B and C mandaps respectively.
This apart, anti-terrorist squads have been deployed at all the entry and exit points to the city while six police aid posts have been opened in Ranihat, Buxi Bazaar, Gopabandhu Park, Chandi Chhaka, Choudhary Bazaar and Dolamundai areas of the city, Sharma informed.
For smooth movement of the devotees, one-way traffic arrangements have been made on major thoroughfares.
In the capital city too, the Commissionerate Police have divided the puja mandaps into three categories – A, B and C.
The category-A mandaps will be monitored by a police officer of sub-inspector rank with half-a-platoon of armed policemen.
A total of 34 platoons of police force and 225 home guards have been deployed at different puja mandaps in the city.
For quick information and action, a modern control room has been set up at the commissionerate police headquarters, Sharma said, adding that all puja committees have also been asked to designate volunteers and install CCTVs to keep an eye on anti-social elements.