Drones to keep a watch over puja pandals in Jharkhand

  • Sanjoy Dey, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Oct 19, 2015 16:17 IST
An illuminated Durga puja pandal at Jharkhand ground in Dhanbad. (Bijay/HT Photo)

Drones will for the first time keep a watch over Durga pandals in Jharkhand’s state capital as the pujas begin from Monday, district officials said on Sunday.

Ranchi superintendent of police Jaya Roy said the state police had brought four drones from Kolkata on rent specially to keep an eye from the sky on puja pandals in Kokar and Bakri Bazar areas. Two of them, however, will be remain on stand-by, Roy said.

The arrangements have been made in view of multiple factors, including an arrest of a terror link from Ramgarh, 45km from Ranchi. However, the officials termed the arrangements precautionary and preventive in nature.

The major focus is in Ranchi, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur where the maximum number of puja pandals have come up.

They said the security management includes installing of close circuit TV cameras at strategic points, deploying additional police force and sniffer dogs at other locations and putting up deep search metal detectors to keep antisocial elements at bay in sensitive locations.

To contain crime and ensure security to women, the crime investigation department has introduced helpline numbers for any assistance during Durga Puja in different districts.

Ranchi has been divided into five zones for immediate action on information regarding crime. Around 200 CCTV cameras have been installed in different strategic locations, 22 major pandals of the city have been put in the sensitive zone list. Gates of 17 puja pandals were opened for visitors from Sunday in Ranchi.

A Durga puja pandal on Harmu Road in Ranchi. (Diwakar Prasad/HT Photo)

Ranchi deputy commissioner Manoj Kumar said. He said that they inspected major pandals of the city on Saturday and asked the organizers to create escape routes in case of any emergency.

“The organisers have also been asked to put up signage for entry and exit routes. Ward councilors have also been educated on disaster management,” he said.

Traffic plan of the Ranchi’s traffic department was made effective from Sunday. Entry of heavy vehicles has been banned for 22 hours till Friday. The vehicles will be allowed only for two hours between 4am and 6am.

Though several big puja pandals are yet to comply with the fire safety norms, the department has claimed that it is prepared to tackle any fire situation with 25 fire tenders.

A fire official said, “They had submitted a set of guidelines of fire safety to the deputy commissioner, senior superintendent of police and sub-divisional office, a month back for making these guidelines mandatory for pandals. But, several pandals are yet to implement the guidelines.”

In Dhanbad, deputy commissioner KN Jha has directed for special security measures in wake of Durga Puja and Muharram. At a recent joint meeting, Jha directed police officers to be alert and monitor the situations at regular intervals.

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The district administration has also issued a guideline to the Puja committees to ensure the immersion of idols latest by October 23 as the next day would be Muharram.

“A common guideline has also been issued to all the Puja committees to ensure immersion of the idol,” said DC. The officials have also been directed to identify the sensitive areas and hold police-public meet to prevent any untoward incident during festive season.

East Singhbhum police has announced high alert for all the police stations in Jamshedpur during Durg Puja celebration. Arms checking have been increased at city roads. District administration has assured that women constables will be deployed at puja pandals in civil dress.

(With input from Sharad Chandra in Dhanbad)

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