The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop roll for Puja peace

A contingent of 10,000 policemen, about 2,000 traffic cops and 10 teams of plainclothesmen will be out on the streets to ensure a trouble-free Puja this year.

These apart, 60 special pickets with officers and constables will be set up at important junctions and an equal number of wireless patrol vans will be out to offer help to pandal-hoppers.

'The force will be deployed from 4 pm on Panchami. From Sashthi, around 300 policemen will be posted at each of the 16 puja sites that have been identified, based on the crowd expected to turn up at a particular puja pandal and those adjoining it,' said Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters).

Besides the 16 spots, including the likes of Md Ali Park, College Square, Shimla Byayam Samity, Jodhpur Park, Bagbazar Sarbojonin and Kumartuli, police have shortlisted 50 small pujas across the city where personnel will be deployed in smaller numbers to ensure that things work right.

To tackle the crowds expected to throng prize-winning pujas, a special force will be kept ready at the police headquarters in Lalbazar.

Special police arrangements have been made for Kalighat for three days, starting Sunday, to ensure that those turning up for mangal aarti in the morning do not face any problem.

Special control rooms have been set up to attend to distress calls.

The last date of immersion is October 15.

In a bid to keep the arterial roads gridlock-free, traffic police have decided to restrict movement of autorickshaws in some parts, particularly in the South.

'Airport-bound traffic will be requested to take the Chingrihata flyover to avoid traffic congestion on the EM Bypass, off Ultadanga,' said Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner (traffic).

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