Puri, May 8 Over 110 platoons of armed police, two company of rapid action force(RAF), thousands of home guards, bomb detection and disposal units would be pressed into service for smooth conduct of the annual Rath Yatra of lord Jagannath, his elder Balabhadra and sister Subhadra scheduled to begin on June 29. UNI | 3 months ago

Puri superintendent of police Anup Kumar Sahu informed this at the first preparatory meeting held here today.

Mr Sahu said the security measures would be taken in view of possible terrorist threat.

The special police enhancement is being made to ensure safe conduct of the festival, he added.

He however, refused to elaborate the preparations to meet the threat and said 'We are in touch with our counterparts in concerned areas of the country to get inputs about the threat.'

Officials of the state and the temple body besides representatives of the several temple priest clans participated in the meeting.

This year traffic regulation work would be separated from the regular arrangements. All the bottlenecks from the Puri-Bhubaneswar high way under construction would be cleared to facilitate smooth flow of vehicular traffic.

The national highway authority was asked to fix traffic signals at all important intersections along the route.

The health department was asked to fill up the specialists and other doctors posts lying vacant in the headquarters hospital before the fete.

The sewerage board which was entrusted to lay sewer lines in the city since 2003 came under heavy criticism as it was yet to be completed. Lack of coordination among the civic body and the sewerage board has put the residents under difficult situation.

The committee asked the sewerage official to complete the work as early as possible. The local civic body was directed to mitigate the bovine menace to make the fete hassle free.

Officials of PWD, PHD, sewerage and transport departments were directed to complete all the ongoing development work before the fete. Engineers of power department informed that special steps were being taken for uninterrupted supply of necessary power supply to the city during the fete.

Among other things the meeting discussed supply of power, potable water, essentials and illumination of the Badadanda the venue of the fete, plying of more trains and passenger transport busses to Puri.

The meeting asked the forest department to provide adequate number timber logs suitable for the construction of the chariots. A sub-committee comprising officials of forest, temple and works department was constituted to look after the construction of the chariots

The statutory nitee sub committee was asked to initiate steps for timely observance of the nitees and rituals of the deities.

The Daita servitors were a peeved lot over non payment of their wages of the last rath yatra and their representatives left the meeting in a huff protesting the attempt to restrict the presence of persons on the rathas.

(Posted on 09-05-2014)