Gangasagar Mela commences in Bengal

Gangasagar Mela commences in Bengal

KOLKATA: Sunderban Affairs minister Bankim Chandra Hazra inaugurated the Gangasagar Mela 2022 on Monday.

"I have been associated with Gangasagar for many years. The Mela arrangements have developed a lot after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came to power in 2011," said Hazra.

He reiterated that under the instructions of the Chief Minister, special arrangements have been made for police officials and pilgrims. If they get affected with COVID-19, they will be shifted to isolation homes that have been set up there.

While the state government has introduced 'e-snan' on social media, devotees will now be able to avail the holy Ganga water by sending a message on WhatsApp number 7003961108 after paying a nominal amount.

E-snan has emerged as the ultimate resort for devotees who couldn't visit Gangasagar as an aftermath of the pandemic. Now, all can join the spiritual journey from the comfort of their homes with the commencement of the initiative. With a minimum price, the pack entails Ganga Jaal, a booklet, Ganga 'mati' and prasad from a brand, Sundarini, run by the SHG women of South 24-Parganas. E-snan was a one-of-a-kind effort that would help the Mela to reach a global scale, overcoming the challenges of the pandemic.

"There is a huge demand for e-snan. More than 60,000 people have booked for the same," said P Ulaganathan, District Magistrate, South 24-Parganas.

A new initiative of 'Dhyan Kendra' is also to be introduced for the pilgrims in which eminent personalities will speak on spirituality. The district administration is also planning to hire 20 drones for sprinkling the holy water on pilgrims.

Meanwhile, Eastern Railway is all set to run special services for the fair this year. "To clear the anticipated rush of pilgrims during Gangasagar Mela-2022, Eastern Railway will run 12 galloping EMU Mela Special trains between January 12 and 17 from Sealdah South/Kolkata/ Lakshmikantapur/Namkhana /Kakdwip," said an official of the Eastern Railway.

He reiterated that three regular local trains in the section will be extended during the aforesaid period.

Out of 12 EMU Mela specials, three trains will leave from Sealdah South, two trains from Kolkata Station, five trains from Namkhana, one train from Lakshmikantapur and one from Kakdwip.

These Mela Special trains will leave Sealdah South at 6.15 hrs, 14.40 hrs, 16.24 hrs; from Kolkata station at 7.35 hrs and 21.30 hrs and in return direction from Namkhana at 09.10 hrs, 11.18 hrs, 18.35 hrs, 19.05 hrs and 02.05 hrs; from Kakdwip at 14.40 hrs and from Lakshmikantapur at 23.15 hrs.

On January 12, 2022, the Kolkata – Namkhana Down galloping EMU special via Majerhat – Ballygunj – Laxmikantapur will leave from Sealdah instead of Kolkata Station.

On January 16, 2022 (Sunday), EMU trains in Lakshmikantapur – Namkhana – Lakshmikantapur section will run as a weekday's service.

The galloping Mela Special trains will stop at Ballygunj, Sonarpur, Baruipur, Lakshmikantapur, Nischindapur and Kakdwip stations.

The official pointed out that morning services of Circular Railway trains will be regulated on January 14, 2022, to facilitate the holy bath in the Ganges on the occasion of "Makar Sankranti".

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