80 platoons police personnel to be deployed for Puri Car festival

Puri : About 80 platoons of police personnel including officers of various ranks would be deployed in and around this pilgrim town for the Car festival scheduled on July 12 amid Covid protocols and without devotees.

All the roads connected to Badadanda would be sealed and prohibitory orders under section 144CrPc would be clamped to prevent people from thronging the grand road.

In addition to it all three entry points to the city would be sealed and Railway services would be suspended till the festival is over, Puri SP K Vishal Singh said.

Police personnel would monitor the movement of people through CCTV cameras installed at various strategic points. Efforts are on for smooth conduct of the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath his elder Balabhadra and sister Subhadra.

The entire pilgrim city Puri would be divided into 12 security zones and the Badadanda, the venue of the car festival would be divided into three sections for the smooth celebration of the car festival.

District collector Samarth Verma meanwhile, has reviewed the preparation work being executed by several departments for the Rath Yatra. Like previous year this year too the annual event would be conducted without the devotees due to covid pandemic.

Hundreds of temple servitors who were tested negative for covid-19 would be allowed to participate in the pulling of all three chariots along the Badadanda to Gundicha temple.

The second phase of swab sample testing of servitors is going on he said adding Badadanda would be cooled by flooding it with water.

This apart drinking water and first aid units would be made operational to serve the servitors while pulling chariots. Unsafe buildings would be identified and sealed.

Nobody would be allowed to step unto Badadanda during the pulling. Special care is taken to upgrade sanitation, cleaning of drains, repairs to roads and illumination of the city particularly Badadanda the venue of the fete he added.

Within the next two days, a meeting with the Chhatisha nijog(apex body of temple servitors) would be held to finalise other aspects of the fete.

All the servitors have been working to make this festival a success and a fresh SOP for the fete will be released soon Mr Verma said.

K.Vishal Singh the superintendent of police said nobody would be allowed to go to the rooftops to witness the festival proceedings.