Magh Mela begins today, 32 lakh to take Paush Purnima dip
The 43-day long Magh Mela has begun with the first official bathing of Paush Purnima wherein about 32 lakh devotees were expected to take a dip in the Sangam.
It also marks the commencement of month-long Kalpwas (wherein devotees pray and fast for religious and spiritual solace) in the mela area.
According to Magh Mela officer Rajnish Dubey, the auspicious timing for the bathing extends from 6.44 am on Friday to 1.02 am on Saturday.
As per rough estimates around 10 lakh devotees, including 1 lakh kalpwasis, had already arrived in the mela area till Thursday evening despite the extreme chill.
“All preparations have been completed for the first bathing and traffic diversions have been put in place to manage the crowd,” he said.
Superintendent of police (traffic) Kuldeep Singh said one way traffic movement had been made effective on pontoon bridges in mela area besides adequate diversions planned in the city area.
“In view of cold weather, ambulances have been deployed around Sangam as-well-as in different pockets of the tent city to handle any emergency. These ambulances would be controlled through the Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC),” he said.
As per estimates, around 2.25 crore people are expected to visit the city on Mauni Amavasya bathing (considered the most auspicious) on January 24.
This year the annual religious event will be held on over 661 acre land which will have around 2200 sanitation workers overseen by 300 specially trained swachhagrahis for taking care of daily cleaning operations in the mela area. Around 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 also been set up besides 55 PCR vans have been deployed to maintain round the clock vigil.
A total of 71 CCTV cameras have been installed at sensitive places in six sectors of the mela that will be connected to the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC).
Also, two hospitals of 20-bed capacity each and three hospitals each of Ayurved and Homeopathy have been set up. These are in addition to the 10 primary health centers (PHC) that have come up in the tent city.