Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, June 11:
Inadequate health services and poor hygienic conditions in Puri featured prominently at the second high-level coordination committee meeting on Tuesday for the grand Odisha festival, Puri Rath Yatra, with members expressing their grave concern over it.
The members alleged that out of a total requirement of 57 doctors including 11 specialist doctors, there are only 15 doctors at the district headquarters hospital at present.
As a result, hundreds of patients are being referred to other hospitals outside Puri everyday. Besides, five ambulance vans, which have been declared unfit since nine years, are still being used by the hospital authorities.
If such is the condition of the hospital, how it would handle emergency services during the Rath Yatra, the members asked.
However, Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, who was present at the meeting, assured that the vacant posts of specialists and other medicos would be filled up within a week.
The committee asked the Drainage department to complete the pending work at the earliest possible time.
Officials of the Energy department, present at the meeting, assured they would do everything possible to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the 10-day festival.
The meeting also discussed other importamt issues such as the transport arrangements, timely construction of three chariots, law and order, deployment of adequate security personnel and officials, installation of CCTV cameras at strategic locations, continuous supply of power, drinking water and regulation of vehicular traffic for smooth conduct of the Yatra.
Informing the meeting about the security measures for the festival, Special DG of police Sanjib Marik said a total of 115 platoons of armed policemen, 200 officers of various ranks would be deployed to maintain law and order. Besides, rapid action force (RAP), several units of anti terrorist experts and bomb detection and disposal squads would also be deployed.
Puri SP Anup Sahoo said CCTV cameras would be installed around the temple and along Bada Danda (Grand Road) and at the railway stations and bus terminals to monitor the crowd movement.
He also said to check unauthorised use of passes, hologram-marked cordon passes would be issued for the first time during the festival.
The SP also urged the temple authorities to restrict the pahandi darshan passes to 3,000 inside the temple to avoid undue rush and stampede.
For convenience of the rail passengers, East Coast Railway has decided to run 75 trains including 24 special trains along the routes to Puri and open 35 ticket booking counters at Puri railway station to handle the rush.
To ensure smooth vehicular traffic during the festival, one-way traffic along the Puri-Bhubaneswar route would be introduced.
Among others, ministers Arun Sahoo, Puspendra Singhdeo, Ramesh Majhi and Sanjay Dasburma, Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty, RDC Suresh Kumar Vasisth, Puri Municipality chairman Jayant Kumar Sarangi, Director (Intelligence) SK Ray, IGP RP Koche, Puri collector Dhiren Patnaik, chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Arabinda Padhee and senior servitors of Sri Jagannath temple were present at the meeting.