Covid norms at Gangasagar Mela: State takes slew of steps to ensure safety of pilgrims; emphasis on e-snan & e-darshan
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government is taking a slew of measures starting from swab sample testing facility to proper maintenance of physical distancing for Covid management during Gangasagar Mela to ensure safety of lakhs of pilgrims those pour into the Sagar Island in South 24-Parganas to take holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga and Bay of Bengal on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti in mid-January.
Keeping the Covid situation in mind the state government is also giving emphasis on e-darshan and e-snan facilities that was introduced last year. Under the facilities, a devotee will get water from the confluence of river Ganga and Bay of Bengal supplied at their houses if apply online for the same.
Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay held a high level meeting with top brass of all concerned departments, police officers and authorities of South 24-Parganas on Thursday to review the preparation for Gangasagar Mela.
Direction has been given to make arrangement like previous year only without giving much importance to the possibility that less number of people will turn up this year.
In a bid to ensure proper Covid management, decision has been taken to set up medical screening camps at major points including railway stations (Howrah and Sealdah). There will be arrangements for Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR testing facilities besides setting up of safe homes, quarantine centres, isolation wards, Covid hospitals and wellness centres exclusively for the people visiting the mela.
There will be dedicated Covid control room and toll free numbers will be provided where people can call for any help and support. Use of masks and maintenance of physical distancing will be mandatory. People, who will be engaged for duty at Gangasagar, will be brought under Covid insurance.
There will be arrangement for water and air ambulances. Police will be ensuring green corridor for emergency transportation and for disposal
of dead body of any Covid patient.
Stress has also been given on contact tracing in case anyone found to be Covid positive at the mela premises.
The state Fire and Emergency Services department will be deploying dedicated teams at each strategic point to carry out sanitisation on regular basis.
At the same time, direction has been given to complete the dredging of Channel number 1 and 3 between Lot-8 and Kachuberia by December 15 for smooth movement of cargo and passenger vessels at the time of the mela.
Three dredgers have been deployed from last week for the same. Dredging on Chemaguri-Benubon Channel also has to be completed by December 30.
Since super cyclone Amphan led to erosion of up to 40 metre inside mainland along the Gangasagar beach, direction has been given for palliative works up to 50 metre length on both sides of all the five pilgrim roads in the mela premises on immediate basis to arrest further erosion.