Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has held a meeting to review the preparations for the very prestigious Gangasagar Mela that will take place from January 8 to 17 next year.
Speaking after the meeting, Banerjee said Gangasagar Mela has been a matter of pride for Bengal. Visitors from all over the world visit the place to take a tour of the grand fair and offer prayers to the holy Ganga river.
“In the interest of a sustainable environment, we intend to hold an eco-friendly fair and avoid the use of plastics this time,” she said.
The chief minister said several measures have been taken to conduct the fair smoothly. For the commuters, 2250 Government buses, 500 private buses, 4 barges, 32 vessels, 100 launches, and 21 jetties with GPS tracking have been arranged.
Indian Railways have been directed to increase the number of trains from Howrah, Namkhana, and Sealdah to ease the movement, and a single-ticket system has been made for all passengers.
A mega-control room has been set up to monitor every nook and corner of the fair. For regulating traffic, 11 buffer zones and 10 parking lots have been arranged, she said.
Banerjee said Sagar Bondhu volunteers will be present to assist the passengers on the bus. For any questions or assistance, police camps will be set up throughout the fair.
For crowd management, a 51 km long barricade has been set up. For micro-monitoring of the fair, 1,150 CCTV cameras and drones have been arranged.
To avoid any accidents, 2100 civil defence volunteers will be present. Ten temporary fire stations and 25 firefighters will be available. 6500 volunteers from Bharat Sevashram Sangha and 142 other NGOs will be on hand to help, she said.
The chief minister said more than 10,000 makeshift toilets, 7 solid waste management units, E-cars, and over 3000 volunteers will be on hand to keep the beach clean. For attending to medical emergencies, 300 beds will be available, along with doctors and nurses.
One air ambulance, four water ambulances, 100 ambulances, and an intensive care unit facility will be available. We will also provide insurance coverage of Rs 5 Lakhs in case of death of any visitor, official or media person, she said.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to every single person who has worked relentlessly to make the Gangasagar Mela a grand success and provide a hassle-free tour for our visitors. My heartfelt gratitude to all the dignitaries, distinguished guests, and officials who were present at the meeting on Wednesday,” Banerjee said.
“I humbly request one and all to visit the pious Gangasagar Mela, and join in the celebrations responsibly and safely,” she added.