Tight security for Rath Yatra

Celebration time: Soldiers and policemen pulling chariot on the eve of Rath Yatra in Puri on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: PTI

Special Correspondent

Lakhs of devotees expected to throng the holy city

BHUBANESWAR: Tight security arrangements were made for the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri on Wednesday. Lakhs of devotees were expected to throng the holy city to witness the Yatra.

More than 80 platoons of police personnel, including two companies of Rapid Action Force men, have been deployed in and around the city to make the Yatra incident-free. Six persons had died in a stampede during the Yatra last year.

The police have also made special arrangements for the purpose of controlling the traffic flow into the city as well as managing the crowd.

As Puri was experiencing abnormally high temperature, the administration has also made special arrangements to help the sunstroke victims.

According to the temple administration, a detailed schedule has been prepared for conducting the rituals connected to the Yatra starting from early morning.

After completion of the rituals, the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra will be pulled on the Grand Road, venue of the festival, starting from 4 pm.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and a host of dignitaries were expected to witness the Yatra.

Apart from various government departments, a host of voluntary agencies have come forward to help the devotees during the Yatra.