Around 10 lakh pilgrims gather for Gangasagar fair
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, around 10 lakh pilgrims will be taking a dip in the Ganga where it flows out into the Bay of Bengal. The West Bengal government has made elaborate arrangements for the annual Gangasagar Fair beginning on Friday.
The district administration has taken adequate measures to prevent any untoward incidents during the fair. Indian naval ship will be deployed within five kilometre radius of the Bay of Bengal from the island. As a part of the security enhancement, arrangements were made to deploy hovercraft and interceptor boats. Several watch towers have been set up and the CCTVs installed at various points. The bomb squads and sniffer dogs have been deployed with civil defence personnel patrolling the waters in speedboats.
Helicopters will be kept ready for emergency rescue operations, whereas drone surveillance has already been made operational. District administrative officials of South 24-Parganas said that Indian naval teams have already been brought in from Vishakhapatnam.
More than 2,000 armed police personnel will be deployed during the event on rotational shifts. Police were continuing a vigil from the watch towers and they were equipped with advanced weapons. The night vision CCTV cameras and special cameras with the facilities of face detection have also been installed in the island.
State Urban Development Minister had earlier announced that adequate number of CCTVs will be installed at various points for better security management. On the occasion, additional arrangements of lightings were made both in fair ground and adjacent roads. Trident lamps were being installed along the 9 km roads leading to Gangasagar.
Besides setting up 12,000 toilets, including around 2,000 mobile toilets, and installing floodlights across the ghats, at least 140 CCTV cameras and a number of watch towers have been installed in and around the Kapil Muni temple on the island, for constant monitoring.
While a team of Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee, Housing Minister Arup Biswas and Power Minister Manish Gupta is supervising the arrangements at Kachuberia jetty, the entry point at the island, another team of four ministers led by Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim, is stationed at Harwood Point - the approach point to the island.