West Bengal gears up for smooth, safe ‘Ganga Sagar Mela’
Kolkata, Dec 28 (IANS) In a bid to keep the premises “clean and green”, the West Bengal government is set to revamp the infrastructural facilities and strengthen security arrangements during the forthcoming Ganga Sagar Mela.
The annual fair, held in Sagar Island of West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, is one of the largest religious events of the country and attracts over a million pilgrims from across India.
They come to take a dip in the holy Ganga.
“The Mela would be inaugurated on January 7. We are building 20,000 stationary toilets with proper markings on the Mela premises, 5,000 more than the previous year.
“There would be a volunteer for every 10 toilets to ensure the pilgrims use them properly,” State Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee told IANS.
“Around 6,000 civil volunteers, all local youths, will be deployed in the Mela only to keep the area clean,” he said.
There would be a total of 90 vessels for the passengers and five barges for ferrying vehicles to Sagar Island, Mukherjee said.
The minister also said there would be major security arrangements to avoid any mishaps during the ‘holy dip’ in the river.
“Rubber boats, speed boats and adequate number of divers would be present at Sagar Island during the main days of the annual Mela to prevent pilgrims from drowning while taking a holy dip,” he added.