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The Telegraph
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More forces for Shravani Mela

Ranchi, June 11: Deoghar district administration today sought more forces for the month-long Shravani Mela scheduled to start from July 4.

At a meeting with state chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, Deoghar DC K. Ravikumar said they were expecting around 55 lakh kanwariyas to take part in the fair this year and hence would need at least 7,200 police officers on duty.

More than 50.3 lakh kanwariyas had visited the Baba Baidyanath Dham last year.

The meeting, attended, among others, by district SP Subodh Prasad, also discussed crowd management measures that were to be implemented by the administration. Ravikumar said they would ensure that not more than 10,000 people queued up at a time from Nandan Pahad, around 2-3km from the temple.

Pilgrims visiting Deoghar during the fair usually collect water from the Ganges at Sultanganj in Bihar. They then walk with the water for 105km to Nandan Pahad where they start queuing up for reaching the main temple.

The state’s revenue and urban development departments, among others, are likely to spend around Rs 2 crore for the festivities. The DC said that special arrangements would be made for dak bams who travel non-stop from Sultanganj till the temple.