Puri: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed annual Rath Yatra preparations on Wednesday at Puri in a high-level meeting . The Chief Minister took note of the concern over the poor sanitation and asked the civic body to gear up to the occasion.
Patnaik reviewed all the necessary preparations, including provision of power, water, essential commodities, health services and tourist shelter facilities, observance of daily rituals of the Lord, the ongoing construction of the three chariots and security arrangements for the June 21 Rath Yatra.
He assured the servitors, who were up in arms against the new system of paid darshan in the temple that restricted devotees to a distance from the Garbhgriha and demanded resumption of the traditional darshan system, to take up the matter on June 25 and discus the issue in presence of the local MP, MLA and servitors.
Patnaik announced that the four-laning of the Puri-Bhubaneswar National Highway will be completed by the year-end while the double tracking the Khurdha Road-Puri railway line will be completed by 2015 before the Nabakalebar Festival of Lord Jagannath.
Police DG Manmohan Praharaj informed that 107 platoons of armed police besides the Rapid Action Force (RAF) regular personnel and officers of various ranks will be deployed for security during the Rath Yatra. CM Patnaik unveiled the wall book of the Rath Yatra Rooparekha and graced the pulling of ropes manufactured by the State Coir Board by touching them. He also commissioned the logo of the Tourism Department.
Others who were present at the meeting included Law Minister Bikram Arukh, Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Health Minister Prasanna Acharya, Tourism Minister Praffulla Samal, Panachayati Raj Minister Maheswar Mohanty, Civil Supplies Minister Niranjan Pujari, Puri Municipality chairperson Shantilata Pradhan, local MP Pinaki Mishra, Chief Secretary BK Patnaik, Temple Chief Administrator and RDC Arabinda Padhee, District Magistrate Arabind Agarwal, Additional DGP Sanjiv Marik, IGP AK Ray, IGP (Intelligence) Arun Sarangi and district Superintendent of Police Anup Sahu, besides servitors’ representatives.