Odisha: Plans in place for New Year rush at Jagannath temple in Puri

20 platoons of police force to be deployed in and around Srimandir

Published: 31st December 2022 08:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2022 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

Jagannath temple

A woman feeds her baby while waiting near the queue of devotees to enter Sri Jagannath Temple for darshan of the Trinity in Puri on Friday | DEBADATTA MALLICK

By Express News Service

PURI: Anticipating a large congregation of devotees during the New Year to have the darshan of Lord Jagannath, the Puri administration has chalked out a comprehensive plan for crowd management. As per a press release issued on Friday, over 20 platoons of police personnel will be deployed in and around the Srimandir to maintain law and order in the area. Hundreds of lifeguards will be stationed at designated bathing points along the beach to prevent incidents of drowning.

The district administration, during a meeting on Thursday, asked hotel owners, taxi, auto-rickshaw drivers and travel and tour operators to put monitoring systems in place for the safety of visitors.“Hotel owners were advised to install CCTV cameras in their hotels and various police outposts have been made operational in the beach areas to address issues of the visitors,” said SP K Vishal Singh.

This apart, street vendors near the Badadanda have been asked to clear the area and the multi-row barricades extended to over one kilometre from the Simhadwar. Devotees will go through the barricades from Municipal Market square and enter the temple through Lion’s gate and exit through the North gate, the release stated.

Special corridors have been made for seamless movement of the differently-abled, students and elderly devotees during darshan. Extra spaces have been allotted for parking vehicles. Police personnel will keep a close vigil at designated places during the night to regulate pilgrim and vehicular traffic, the release added.

“The temple rituals on December 31 and January 1 have been rescheduled to enable more devotees to have darshan of the deities and provision of drinking water made along the barricades,” said collector Samarth Verma on Friday. Meanwhile, with increasing visitors to the pilgrim town, prices of hotel rooms have skyrocketed. Brokers, fake travel agents and auto-rickshaw drivers are allegedly charging exorbitant rates to tourists.

Many tourists have also reportedly fallen prey to fake online hotel bookings. Recently, information about fake room bookings in Bhaktanivas hotel run by the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had come to the fore. Following the SJTA’s complaint, police arrested four persons from Bengal in this connection. 


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