The Kumbh, the biggest congregation of mankind in the world, started at the Sangam in Allahabad on Makar Sankranti. Over 10 crore devotees are expected to take part in the religious confluence that will continue till March 10. The Maha Kumbh happens every 12 years when the planets are in maxi- mum alignment. Based on an ancient Hindu myth, and has been going on since at least the 5th century. More than 80 lakh people took a holy dip in the Sangam on the first day itself.
The Maha Kumbh Mela is an age old hindu festival where saints, monks, babas, sadhus and gurus gather together, on the banks of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers, near Allahabad, India. It is a religious bathing festival of enormous size where pilgrims, and religious devotees will come from their remote dwellings and hiding places to gather for a historical moment. They come to experience the essence of their culture and to participate in the largest spiritual gathering of humanity, the Maha Kumba Mela.
The Kumbh Mela area is spread over as area of around 1,936.56 hectare. Of the total, 172.11 hectare belongs to mela administration, while 217.03 hectare is defense land. The mela kshetra has been divided into 14 sectors to smoothen the stay of people More than Rs 1,035 crore have been sanctioned for the Kumbh Mela by the Center while 990 officials from different departments have been deputed to supervise the proceedings of the mela besides 28,000 temporary and permanent employees which includes police, health, PWD, Jal Nigam, tourism, transport etc have been performing their duties round the clock.
Over 25,000 police personnel including 125 companies of central police forces have been deployed in and around Kumbh to ensure the safety and safety of pilgrims Para commandos, binoculars, Sniper apparatus for STF/ATS personnel, vehicle navigation system with GPS and control room 89 CCTV cameras have been installed on the Kumbh campus and 28 other at strategic locations in the city 56 watch towers have been set up in Jhunsi and Arail areas to keep an eye on the mela kshetra The cops on duty have been provided with bullet-proof jacket, body protectors, poly carbonate shield, poly carbonate sticks, dragon lights, 7.62 mm bolt action rifle, AK 47 rifle, 0.9 mm carbine, 0.9mm pistol, teargas gun and protector mini flame.
The UP Tourism department claims to have trained over 4,000 persons including 180 porters, 1328 taxi auto drivers, 650 home guards, 288 GRP personnel and 90 railway staff including catering and commercial staff who are all set to welcome pilgrims with their polite gestures and acting as guides for mela visitors. For any emergency, a 100 bedded general hospital having facilities of ultrasound and an ICU has been raised on the mela ground.
The sectors have a smaller health facility that works like a community health centre. Additionally, 10 zonal hospitals, two infectious disease hospitals and one police hospital with 20 bedded facilities each have also been set up Uttar Pradesh State Road Transportation corporation (UPSRTC) would be plying 6,000 buses for ferrying passengers from Allahabad to other cities. Officials claim that 262 buses will make 604 trips to other nearby religious towns like Chitrakoot, Varanasi, Ayodhya etc while on royal bathing days, as many as 660 buses will make 1,655 trips. Temporary bus stations have been set up at Phaphamau, Naini, and Arail to check overcrowding.
– OE News Bureau