Twenty platoons of police will be deployed in and around the 11th century Lingaraj temple here on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri on Sunday. Other security arrangements are also in place to enable the devotees to celebrate the festival in a peaceful manner.
Barricades have already been put up to ensure orderly queues for darshan of the deity in the temple. With lakhs of devotees expected to visit the temple on the day, police have taken steps for smooth movement of vehicular traffic.
Chief Executive of temple administration Abani Patnaik said the temple officials along with the sevayats have finalised the time-table of the rituals to be performed on Maha Shivaratri.
“The temple will open at 3 am and the first ‘aarati’ will be held at 3.30 am. The temple will remain open from 4 am to 11 am for the devotees to have darshan which is called Shahanamela. Rituals will be performed till 3 pm. The ‘Mahadeep’ will be taken atop the temple between 9.30 pm and 10 pm,” said Patnaik.
As the rituals were delayed by several hours last year, this time the temple administration has decided to keep a tab on the movement of sevayats and the crowd. Two large screen will be put up inside the temple to ensure that sevayats perform all rituals on time. Heads of the three sevayat nijogs would be present inside the temple to monitor timely conduct of all the rituals.
Besides, temple administration would set up 14 close circuit cameras and large screens to keep a vigil on the crowd movement and entry of non-Hindus into the temple. The administration has also made provision of mobile toilets and drinking water facilities.
Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said sanitation workers will be available round-the-clock to keep the temple spick and span. Cleaning of the temple premises will be undertaken by ASI.