PURI: At least 45 platoons of police force would be deployed in Puri for the Rath Yatra.
This would include one DIG, four commandants, nine deputy commandants, 15 DSPs, 55 Inspectors, 304 SIs and 1250 home guards to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic for the 11-day fete that begins on July 18. This was informed by Sanjib Panda, the IGP in charge of traffic management for the fete, who reviewed the arrangements here on Saturday. He said the traffic plan for Bahuda Yatra and Sunabesha would be announced later.
As per the arrangements for Rath Yatra, inter-State buses coming from Bhubaneswar to Puri via NH-316 would be allowed parking at Malatipatpur bus terminal and at Nagapatana while the regular passenger buses would be allowed to proceed to Talabania via railway over bridge through the Puri-Konark Marine drive road.
Bhubaneswar-bound buses would return via Bhudan Chhak, Grid Station Chhak, Balighat, Gopalpur and Biraharekrushnapur connecting the NH-316. Bramhagiri-bound buses would return via Flourish India property and Mangalaghat Chhak and Konark bound buses would go through Talabania temporary bus stand.
All the light vehicles coming from Bhubaneswar would be allowed to park at Sanskrit university, ITI, Indoor Stadium, Bhudan Chhak and in front of Kumbharpara police outpost.
Panda informed that police will take help of social networking sites to monitor and update the traffic movement during the fete. He said the updates on traffic restrictions and other facilities for tourists and pilgrims will be updated on website of Puri police(www.puripolice.nic.in), the android app of Puri police named ‘Puri Police’ and the Facebook page ‘Puri Rath Yatra Traffic’.
Statue of Utkalmani Shifted
Amid protests by several organisations and residents, the administration shifted the bust statue of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das on Saturday. The statue was installed by Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Lions Gate of the Jagannath temple on May 8, 1934. Later, administration had added a public infromation center close to the statue pedestal.
The Government had recently decided to shift the statue to facilitate movement of the devotees near the Singhadwar. Many followers of Gopabandhu and Gandhians had opposed the decision to shift the statue.
Activists led by Dhirendra Das, the great grandson of Utkalmani, along with Gobinda Mahapatra, convenor of the Suanda Setu of Satyabadi and Surendra Mishra, president of Janaswartha Surakhya Samiti staged a demonstration opposing the shifting. Police after a scuffle with the protestors dispersed them. The statue was shifted by a crane and placed on a roof of a newly built house near the Lions Gate.