Security spruced up for Makar Sankranti, lakhs to throng holy city today
In anticipation of a mammoth turnout of devotees on the occasion of Makar Sankranti Snan for two days starting from Monday, the district administration and the police have made ample arrangements to maintain law and order in the district. Though the ritualistic Snan started on Monday, the real Snan would be held on Tuesday during which lakhs of people are expected to throng the fabled ghats of the holy city, said police. The senior superintendent of police Haridwar Janmejay Khanduri reviewed security with the officers at a meeting held at the traffic police line in course of which a route map for the traffic flow was briefed. As per the route map framed by police, no heavy vehicle would be allowed to ply from Monday night till Tuesday night.
Since the auspicious period is starting from Monday evening, much of the crowd is expected to arrive since the early Tuesday morning, said the SSP.
Nearly three lakh devotees thronged the ghats here for holy dip on Monday and the turnout is likely to be more than double on Tuesday, said the police. The traffic diversion plan would be implemented on Tuesday. From Laltarao to Shiv Murti, it would be zero zone area, informed police.
Speaking to The Pioneer, SSP Janmejay Khanduri said, “Since lakhs of people are congregating on Kartik Purnima Snan at Har ki Paidi, we have put into place all arrangements to ensure peace and security during the festival. The city has been cordoned and intense checking drives have been started from Saturday evening at public places like bus stands and railway station where the people gather in a large number.”
Providing details about the arrangements made, SSP said, “The whole mela area has been divided into seven zones and 14 sectors and at 4 pm on Monday, the cops have taken positions at the assigned places. They have been instructed to hand over the charge of the place to another before leaving the assigned duty. We have ensured that special attention is given to the elderly pilgrims. Bomb squads and sniffer dog squads have already been into action.” He further said that 2000 cops from different branches of police have been asked to be in position for the smooth conduct of the fair, added the SSP.
The district magistrate Deepak Rawat said while talking to The Pioneer, “The local intelligence units at Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi temples are alert. From the crowd management point of view, monitoring of the closed circuit cameras at the sensitive points like bus stand, railway station, ashrams would be done by the special personnel entrusted with the task.”
Close vigilance would be kept on the parking zones and barricades are being erected around the under-construction bridged at Har Ki Paidi.
As per the Hindu scriptures, the Makar Sankranti celebrates the arrival of the Sun in ‘Uttarayan’. While dwelling on the significance of the festival, a priest working at a famed temple said that from Makar Sankranti onwards, the period is deemed to be auspicious for initiating new works. “The people perform tarpan (offering to the ancestors) at Narayani Shila and Kushawart Ghats on the occasion.
It is believed that whatever is offered to the deceased members of the family it reaches straight to them and the punya gets enhanced by holy dip taken in the sacred river.
The merit gained this way is believed to exceed the fruit gained through performing ‘Ashwamedha Yajnas,’” he said.
Tuesday, 15 January 2019 | PNS | Haridwar