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Tight security plans for car fest

- Police unveil strategy to secure ‘soft-target’ Puri

Bhubaneswar, June 16: A tight security cordon will be thrown around Puri on June 21, the day of rath yatra, with 107 platoons of security forces, including the Rapid Action Force, taking position at vantage points.

The Coast Guard will deploy two ships along the Puri coast to ward off possible attempts at intrusion by terrorists through the sea route. Puri is still considered a soft target for terror attacks.

Apart from this, around 100 members of the local fishing community, known as nolias, will be keeping a close watch on the sea and beach to prevent untoward incidents.

Police have made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth flow of traffic during rath yatra and have sought the cooperation of people.

Addressing a news conference in Puri today, district superintendent of police Anup Sahu said: “The movement of vehicles to Puri will be regulated from June 20, the day before the rath yatra. The regulations would continue till June 22. Similarly, for bahuda yatra (the return journey) and sunabesa of the deities, traffic will regulated from June 28 to July 1.”

Sahu said the Puri police had earmarked a number of places as parking lots where vehicles coming to Puri may be parked. Heavy vehicles will be parked at Talabani parking and the Municipality bus stand.

Light vehicles will be parked on parking lots at College Ground, Zilla School Ground, Digabarini, Balaipada, Hotel Nilachal Ashoka, Indoor Stadium, Helipad and Jagannath Ballav. Two-wheelers will be parked at parking lots at Digabarini and Jagannath Ballav.

All buses plying on regular routes, inter-state buses, tourist buses, contract carriages and stage carriages coming to Puri shall be diverted to the Talabani parking lot. No goods carriers, such as trucks, mini trucks, shall be allowed to ply NH-203 connecting Bhubaneswar with Puri.

The cops have also made elaborate arrangements for VVIPs and servitors. The VIP route on Nabajauban Darshan day (June 20), the rath yatra day and the day of Sunabesa (June 30) will be via Acharya Harihar crossing, Nitai Gaouranga crossing, Prachi Hotel crossing, Brusav crossing to Gadadhar High School.

Only selected VVIP vehicles would be allowed to go up to Gandua Chura, near the Puri temple.

The servitors will park their vehicles and two-wheelers inside Hati Sala near Gundicha temple from June 21 to June 29. Vehicles carrying firewood and materials for bhoga (food offered to the deities) will not be detained. Emergency vehicles will not be detained either.

Two-wheelers will not be allowed to ply on Grand Road or be parked anywhere along it. Four cranes would be deployed to clear major road obstructions.

The cranes would be deployed at Pipli, Satyabadi, Gop and Kumbarapada. A mini crane will also be stationed at the Hospital crossing near Traffic Aid Post in Puri.