January 16, 2015
Effective management of Gangasagar Mela: Bengal sets an example for mass congregations
More than 10 lakh people have visited Gangasagar this time since the annual congregation commenced on 12 January, the South 24-Parganas district administration reported.
Elaborate security arrangement
The State administration had made elaborate security arrangements for the mela. More than 30 CCTV cameras were installed and a similar number of watchtowers erected in and around the Kapil Muni temple on the island’s bank.
Deployment of 6,500 policemen was made along with coast guards, BSF and Navy personnel to ensure adequate security of the area. Security forces in the sea were equipped with hovercraft and small aircraft.
West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee along with Power Minister Manish Gupta, Sunderban Affairs minister Manturam Pakhira and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Giasuddin Mollah and the Zilla Sabhadipati, District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and other top officials of South 24 Parganas, were present to monitor the situation.
Most of the pilgrims hailed from states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jhargkhand, Chhatisgarh and Odisha; there were also a good number of them from Assam and Tripura, besides the home state Bengal.
For the pilgrims there were temporary sheds at Sagar Mela ground where they could take rest. Arrangement of temporary toilets and cooking was made without compromising on the cleanliness of the mela ground. There was adequate arrangement for electricity.
Photo credit: Debojyoti Chakraborty