80 mn people expected during 43-day Magh Mela
The 2020 Magh Mela is expected to see a crowd of about 80 million (8 crore) visit the Sanagm City during the 43-day annual religious fair owing to the large scale branding done by the government earlier during the 2019 Kumbh, said an official.
According to Magh Mela officer Rajnish Mishra, though exact count of devotees cannot be predicted exactly but certainly it would be more than that witnessed in previous editions of Magh Mela.
He said about 50 million (5 crore) are expected to take holy dip on six main bathing days.
“We have completed all preparations for the mela which begins on January 10 with the first official bathing of Paush Purnima in which around 32 lakh devotees are expected to take the holy dip. This is just a conservative projection based on feedback received from locals and teerth purohits. However, the count can rise owing to large scale branding of Kumbh Mela 2019,” he said.
As per the official, the highest devotee count to take the dip on a single day is estimated to be around 2.25 crore for Mauni Amavasya bathing scheduled on January 24.
The mela this year will be held over an area of over 661 acre land which will have around 2200 sanitation workers overseen by 300 specially trained swachhagrahis to take care of daily cleaning operations in mela area.
A total of 25,000 toilets have been set up in the tent city area.
Further, to ensure smooth and safe conduct of the mela 13 police stations and 40 police outposts have been set up besides 55 PCR vans have been deployed to maintain round the clock vigil.
A total of 71 CCTV cameras have been placed at sensitive spots in all the six sectors of mela which will be connected to the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC).
Further for meeting any emergency condition, two hospitals of 20-bed capacity each have been set up in mela area besides three hospitals each of Ayurved and Homeopathy branch of medicine have also been set up. Apart from this, 10 primary health centers (PHC) would also be set up, two each in every sector, he said.
The North Central Railway (NCR), Northern Railway (NR) and North Eastern Railway (NER) have also planned to run around 225 special trains to cater to devotee rush and in case of excessive rush, more special trains would be added.
The railway authorities have also set up a mela control room at platform number 1 for devotees at Allahabad Junction besides have also installed around 230 CCTV cameras at Allahabad junction and other stations.
Moreover, for ensuring smooth movement of devotees on railway platforms besides check on crime during mela period 1100 personnel each of RPF and GRP would be deployed. The railway staff wearing ‘rail sewak’ jackets would guide devotees seeking help at railway stations.
Bathing Date Expected devotee count
---------- ------- ------------------------------
Paush Purnima Jan 10 32 lakh
Makar Sankanti Jan 15 80 lakh
Mauni Amavasya Jan 24 2.25 crore
Basant Panchami Jan 30 75 lakh
Maghi Purnima Feb 09 75 lakh
Mahashivratri Feb 21 15 lakh
Caption : A view of tent city at Sangam.
(Pics by Anil Kumar Maurya/HT)