It will be held in a low-key in view of cyclone and flood damage in State

The week-long famous and historic Baliyatra festival of Cuttack city would kick off from Sunday on Kartika Purnima. To uphold the maritime glory of ancient Odisha, called Kalinga, the festival is observed here every year on the banks of River Mahanadi, close to the majestic Barabati fort.

Like Dusshera and other current festivals, the Baliyatra festival here would be observed in a low-key for the State was ravaged by cyclone, unprecedented rain and flood recently. Staying away from celebrations over these days for natural calamities, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would not attend the inaugural function on Sunday and instead, his Cabinet colleague Debi Prasad Mishra would inaugurate the festival in the presence of MLAs and MPs of the district.

Over 1300 makeshift stalls would come up on the two fare grounds on the sprawling riverbed and the adjoining Killa Maidan spreading over 37 acres. With some initial hiccups, plots of the fare grounds were allotted to different vendors and the stage is now set for the annual extravaganza of the city.

Meanwhile, the city police have made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order in and around the fare grounds as lakhs of revellers would visit every day. Police have also refurbished the traffic arrangements in the nearby main roads and the traffic restrictions would begin from Sunday afternoon.

As a precautionary measure, the entire ground would be monitored with close-circuit television cameras. The city police would be deploying adequate police force and will monitor the situation with different kind of force, including quick reaction teams (QRTs).

Similarly, the fire brigade personnel are also deployed in the grounds for any eventuality as the fare ground is now nothing but a tinder box with stalls made up of plastics, polythene and bamboos.

The stalls in the fare ground would be showcasing a wide range household articles, including ethnic items, electronic gadgets and food items. The Meenabazar of the ground would be missing the giant wheels, as the district administration has banned them after last year’s mishap.

  • Over 1300 stalls will come up on two fare grounds on sprawling riverbed and Killa Maidan

  • City police have made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order during the festival