All measures in place for ‘Bada Osa’ - The New Indian Express

All measures in place for ‘Bada Osa’

Published: 26th November 2012 12:42 PM

Last Updated: 26th November 2012 12:42 PM

As the famous Dhabaleswar temple braces up for an inflow of more than a lakh devotees and pilgrims for Bada Osa, the most religious day of the holy Kartik month, on Monday the district administration has embarked upon a massive exercise to ensure smooth access for the crowds and incident-free ceremonies.

 With the 2009 boat capsize in the Mahanadi which had claimed five lives fresh in memory, the administration this year has not only banned small country boats from plying on the river between Cuttack and the temple but also put in place stringent mechanisms to monitor the ferries.

 Only large motorised boats have been permitted to ferry devotees through the river, which is the main channel to access the temple. Over 60,000 devotees and pilgrims are expected to take ferries to reach the temple on Monday and 60 large motorised boats with a capacity to accommodate around 100 people each have been permitted to ply. The boats are ferrying people from the Bidanasi and Mancheswar ghats to the two ghats on the temple-end.

 Two units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed along with four speed boats. They would be continuously moving on the waters to keep an eye on the flow of devotees and take immediate rescue operations in the event of any mishap. Fire personnel have also been deployed in strength.

 “A major chunk of the devotees take the river route and thus, extra precaution has been taken. Besides ODRAF, we have also stationed expert divers drawn from different departments like fire services, irrigation and private organisations like Kalinga divers,” Sub-Collector Trilochan Pradhan said.

Adequate lighting systems have been installed and heavy police arrangements made to ensure trouble-free darshan. Strong barricades have been erected to prevent incidents like stampede, Pradhan added.

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