Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has made elaborate arrangements for smooth and timely conduct of the annual Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings on Tuesday in Puri.
All roads lead to the pilgrim town. Thousands of devotees have started thronging pilgrim town Puri to witness the nine-day long Rath Yatra beginning on Tuesday.
Lord Jagannath and his two siblings – elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra – are ready to give darshan to the public in Raths and visit Gundicha Temple.
The three majestic chariots are almost ready and will be brought to the Singha Dwar and parked facing East towards Gundicha temple. The chariots will be pulled by lakhs of devotees on Tuesday.
A large number of devotees visited the temple on Monday on the occasion of Nabajouban darshan after the deities recovered from 14-day long illness.
The Parimanika darshan of the Lords was started early at 7:20 a.m. due to early completion of rituals and this was followed by the Sahana Mela darshan from 8:05 a.m. in which the devotees witnessed the Nabajoubana Besha (attire) of the Lords from the Bhitara Katha inside the Jagmohan, said Odisha Chief Secretary P.K. Jena, who was in Puri on Monday.
Praying for a chill weather tomorrow, Jena said all arrangements have been made keeping heatwave condition in view. Sufficient drinking water facilities including distribution of water bottles have been made for the devotees, he said.
Water sprinkling will be done by the fire service personnel and ORS will also be given to the devotees, Jena stated.
“Till now, all the rituals are being conducted smoothly and little ahead. We will have another round of discussion with the senior servitors this evening for timely completion of the rituals during Ghosa Yatra,” he added.
Tight security arrangements have been made in and around Puri town for the festival. The pilgrim town has been divided into 14 zones and 29 sectors.
About 170 platoons of police personnel will be deployed for the conduct of the yatra. For Monday, Nabajouban darshan, 70 platoons of police deployed in the town.
For the first time, a Coast Guard helicopter will patrol the beach and fast patrol vehicles deployed close by. Interceptor boats will be stationed at Paradip, ready for any contingency, till July 2, said additional DGP, Law and Order, Sanjay Kumar.
The Railways will install face recognising cameras on the railway platforms to screen the crowd of suspicious people. A total of 125 special trains will ply to Puri during the festival, he said.
A large number of CCTV cameras assisted by drones’ cameras connected to a number of control stations will function during the Rath Yatra.
Under a special mobility plan, an advisory on vehicular movement to Puri has been issued.
Transport Commissioner Amitabh Thakur said all inter-state tourist buses and local tourist buses will stop and park at Malatipatpur bus stand.
Other daily passenger-carrying buses will be allowed up to Talabania temporary bus stand via Malatipatapur railway over bridge, Toshali Sands, Grid Station Chhak and Bhudan Chhaka.
Vehicles on the Bhubaneswar-Puri route and Konark will be allowed to park near grid substation and Talabania area while vehicles coming from Brahmagiri will be parked in Florence India Garden parking space.
Puri town shuttle buses/auto rickshaw will be allowed from Talabania to Zilla School Chhaka.
Two-wheelers will avail parking at Jagannath Ballav, Masanichandi, Matitota parking, Nilachala Ashok and Blue Flag beach.
All Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) like cars and SUVs will avail parking facilities at the parking places at indoor stadium, helipad, Sanskrit University parking, ID College Parking, Nalifield and Yatrika. They will be diverted as per availability of space in parking places accordingly.
For smooth darshan of the Lords by devotees, some shuttle services have been implemented from Talabania to Zilla School Chhaka and from Malatipatapur to Atharanala.
Besides, the areas from Atharanala Chhaka to Hospital Chhaka and from Hospital Chhaka to Subash Bose Crossing, have been announced as no vehicle zones.
The regulation of vehicular traffic will be imposed from June 19 to June 21, 2023. The same traffic regulation will be again applied from June 28 to June 29.