Dr RP Sharma, DGP Odisha. Photo/ANI
Dr RP Sharma, DGP Odisha. Photo/ANI

Odisha DGP reviews preparations ahead of Jagannath Yatra

ANI | Updated: May 28, 2019 18:14 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 28 (ANI): Odisha DGP Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma on Tuesday chaired a preparatory meeting over the logistical arrangements in place for the upcoming rath yatra in Puri.
"We held a preparatory meeting of police officers for the annual Jagannathpuri rath yatra. It is an international event where nearly a million people gather every year. Massive arrangements are made every year but because of the recent cyclone Fani, massive damage has been caused to the Puri town which affects the security arrangement also," Sharma said while addressing media.
"Our basic concern is to repair the buildings and traffic posts damaged by the cyclone so that we don't face any logistics problems. Secondly, we have to look after crowd management where we employ the services of OSAF (Odisha Swift Action Force) and RAF (Rapid Action Force) and hope to get their services for this year's yatra as well," he added.
"We have geared up our intelligence system to keep a sharp watch on any kind of suspicious activities. In the wake of the event being an international one, marine police will coordinate with the forces on the ground to ward off any untoward incident," the DGP said.
In the Jagannath Rath Yatra, three chariots are constructed every year for Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their younger sister Subhadra. The yatra commences at the Gundicha Temple via the Mausi Maa Temple near Balagandi Chaka in Puri.
The annual journey of the three deities from the Jagannath temple to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt, has been observed and undertaken since the 12th century. It is a nine-day-long celebration that ends with the Bahuda Yatra or the return journey to their temple.
This year, the annual event is likely to be held on July 4.
Odisha recently witnessed large-scale destruction due to the cyclonic storm 'Fani', which made landfall on May 3. Over one crore sixty-five lakh people of the state were adversely affected due to the cyclone.
The death toll in the state due to cyclone Fani touched 64 with Puri recording the maximum number of casualties at 39, according to official estimates released by the state government on May 11.
According to government data, livestock casualties were over 34 lakh. (ANI)