Millions of devotees from across the world throng Puri today to witness Rathyatra, the prime event of the state of Odisha where Lord Jagannath takes a trip to the Gundicha temple along with brother Bhalabhadra and sister Subhadra on gigantic Chariots locally known as ‘Ratha’. However, keeping in view the recent bombings of Bodhgaya, tight security measures have been taken to execute the massive event without any hitch.
While around 110 platoons of armed police are being deployed for the Rath Yatra 2013, two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF), 2,000 home guards and hundreds of officers from outside, have been mustered to tackle security during the massive spiritual occasion.
To monitor any possible terrorist attack, aerial and marine patrolling has been put in place apart from Land security forces. For marine security, the Coast Guard has deployed a vessel for patrolling the sea and a chopper is flying constantly to closely watch from air. Besides that one unit of anti-terrorist unit has been deployed and there is fixed morchas around the temple and on the Grand Road, the ‘Bada Danda’.
To prevent drowning during sea-bathe, 100 life guards have been deployed by Police while another 300 volunteers from various voluntary organizations are also working on it.
Special arrangement has been made for managing traffic and parking during Rath Yatra. The National Highway-203 has been turned one-way and only entry of vehicle is allowed via this route while for exit, one can leave the town through Astarang-Kakatpur Road, Gop-Chari Chhaka-Niali and Nimapara-Chari Chhaka-Uttara.
For vehicular parking, only light vehicles were allowed to enter the holy city only till 7 am and parked at grounds of SCS College, Girls High School and Zilla School, all heavy vehicles have been stopped at Talabana.