The annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings started in Puri on Wednesday. The district administration on Tuesday said they were expecting about 10 lakh people to take part in the nine-day chariot festival. Security has been strengthened across Puri for the Rath Yatra.
"Multi-layer security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival. CCTVs have been installed at various locations to keep a tab on the people," said Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh told IANS on Tuesday.
There is heavy security around the three chariots and Grand Road, the sea beach, the railway station and the bus station. Air surveillance and land and air patrolling will be intensified, Singh added.
Inspector General (Operation) Soumendra Priyadarshi said the visitors would be informed from time to time about traffic management through social media and Puri police administration website.
Police and other personnel have been deployed to guide the public. Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has announced it will provide an accident insurance cover of Rs five lakh, effective from 5-17 July, to each person taking part in the Rath Yatra.
Final touches were given to the three chariots — Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra, Nandighosh of Lord Jagannath and Darpadalana of Devi Subhadra — which were pulled to the Gundicha temple in Puri on Wednesday. The deities will be worshiped for seven days at the temple.
East Coast Railway (ECoR) will run special trains to clear the extra rush of passengers for the festival.
"Railways have planned to facilitate pilgrims with reserved 'class accommodation,' for the trains leaving from its jurisdiction towards Puri and vice versa, apart from the special trains from neighbouring states," said a statement of ECoR.
Politicians took to Twitter to greet people on Rath Yatra.
On the occasion of Rath Yatra, my warmest greetings to you all. May Lord Jagannath continue to shower his blessings on everyone.
May the blessings of Lord Jagannath lead to development of villages, well-being of poor & farmers and take India to new heights of progress.
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) July 5, 2016
I wish you all on the auspicious occasion of Rath Yatra. May Lord Jagannath bless everyone with happiness and prosperity. #RathaJatra
— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) July 6, 2016
Greetings to people on #RathaJatra. May Lord Jagannath bless us all with happiness,prosperity & peace.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 6, 2016
— Naveen Jindal (@MPNaveenJindal) July 6, 2016
— Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) July 6, 2016