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Fairs & Festivals
First coordination committee meet for Rath Yatra held
By Input from Agencies  Published on: 10-May-2014 12:12:53
Place: Puri
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Puri: The first high-level coordination committee meeting for the June 29 annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath was convened here on Thursday.

Assuring safe conduct for the festival, Puri Superintendent of Police Anup Kumar Sahu said that over 110 platoons of armed police, two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) besides scores of Home Guards and bomb detection and disposal units would be pressed into service during the festival.

Refusing to elaborate the preparations, Sahu advised not to panic as necessary steps are being taken to curb the designs of terror outfits. “We are in touch with our counterparts in Delhi and other places of the country to get inputs about the threat and, accordingly, we are getting prepared,” he added.

It was decided that the regulation of vehicular traffic, which was a major hurdle in the previous years, would be dealt with separately from the regular arrangements. All the bottlenecks from the Puri-Bhubaneswar highway under construction would be cleared to facilitate smooth flow of traffic.

First coordination committee meet for Rath Yatra held

The National Highway Authority was asked to fix traffic signals at all important intersections along the route.

The Health Department was asked to fill up the specialists’ and other doctors’ posts lying vacant in the District Headquarters Hospital before the fete.

The work of the Sewerage Board came under heavy fire from all quarters as after ten years the work is yet to be completed. The board has been entrusted to lay sewer lines in the city since 2003. The committee asked the sewerage officials to complete the work at the earliest.

Energy Department engineers informed that special steps are being taken for uninterrupted supply of necessary power in the city during the festival.

The meeting asked the Forest Department to provide adequate numbers of timber logs suitable for construction of the Raths. A sub-committee comprising officials of the Forest and Works Departments and the temple administration was constituted to look after the construction of the Raths.

Temple Chief administrator Arabind Padhee informed that he would discuss with the temple servitors at separate meetings about timely observance of the daily rituals of the deities.

Representatives of the several temple priests’ associations also participated in the meeting. The Daita servitors, who take the charge of the Rath Yatra, informed that wages for the last year’s festival are yet to be paid to them.

The Daitas protested the committee’s proposal to prevent entry of unauthorised persons on the Raths during the festival and left the meeting in the middle.

District Magistrate Dhiren Kumar Pattnaik placed the preparation details at the meeting while Revenue Divisional Commissioner SK Basist and Inspector General of Police RP Koche (IGP) were also present.

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