| Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary inaugurates the Pitripaksh Mela in Gaya on Wednesday. Picture by Suman |
Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary on Wednesday inaugurated the 17-day Pitripaksh Mela – 2013 on the premises of Vishnupad temple amid chanting of Vedic hymns and blowing of conch by Swami Raghwacharya of Ramanuj Math.
Chaudhary, in his address, at the inaugural session said adequate power had been allotted to Gaya for the Pitripaksh Mela. He appealed to the people to co-operate in maintaining cleanliness of the town during the fair.
Earlier, BJP MP from Gaya Hari Manjhi demanded Metro rail network, connecting Bodhgaya and Rajgir. Gaya town BJP MLA Prem Kumar demanded round-the-clock power supply in Gaya town for the pilgrims.
The souvenir, Tarpan, edited by litterateur Gowardhan Prasad Saday, was also released on the occasion.
Despite several constraints like bad roads near the fair venue, shortage of power and drinking water where pinddaan would be performed and lack of cleanliness, the district administration claimed to have made elaborate arrangements for the pilgrims. Like every year, social activist Suresh Narayan would perform collective pinddaan for peace to the souls of those killed in natural calamities, soldiers and cops.
The administration has made accommodation arrangements at 32 places, including government schools and Ningma monastery in Bodhgaya, for the pilgrims unable to bear the expenses of hotels or guesthouses.
Eight places have been identified for parking vehicles. They are Sikaria Mor bus stand, Gaya College sports arena, vacant land near Pretshila, empty plot to the north of Brahmsat pond, Bhushunda Mela premises in Manpur and three places on Gaya-Bodhgaya riverside road — near Sun temple, the polytechnic and the ITI college premises.
The public relations department has set up information centres near the Vishnupad temple and at Gaya railway station.
To ensure security around Vishnupad temple, Falgu river and their adjoining areas, as many as 50 police camps have been set up. Gaya senior superintendent of police has ordered the cops to dispose of FIRs lodged by pilgrims fast.
District magistrate Balamurugan D. has appealed to the pilgrims to send short text messages to senior officials in case of any problem.