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Mamata Govt Treading Carefully with 9-Day-Long Gangasagar Mela as Bengal Reels Under Covid-19 Surge

With West Bengal’s Covid-19 positivity charge touching a excessive of 33.89% and every day instances touching 24,284, the federal government at current is going through the hardest problem to organise the nine-day-long Gangasagar Mela, which had already begun on January 8. Although the state has talked about in an affidavit to the Calcutta High Court that 30,000 individuals have already gathered for the occasion, a footfall of greater than 5 lakh is predicted this week.

The Calcutta High Court had given the approval for the occasion, nevertheless, calling for “strict adherence to Covid-19 norms”. The courtroom had ordered the federal government to arrange a committee, which is able to oversee the preparations and take steps relying on the emergency state of affairs.

There are apprehensions that the Covid instances would soar after the Mela. BJP nationwide vice-president Dilip Ghosh mentioned, “Let the Mela happen but norms should be followed. Several melas have taken place in UP but the infection rate is not high there.”


About 2,250 West Bengal Transport Corporation buses and 500 personal buses will carry pilgrims to Gangasagar from railway stations, airport and bus stands. Nearly 21 jetties will likely be operational, four barges, 32 vessels and 100 wood boats will likely be deployed at Lot-Eight and Namkhana for trans-shipment. ‘Sagar Bandhu’ will likely be current in all of the buses plying inside Sagar Island. Additional trains will likely be organized from Howrah, Sealdah and Namkhana. Around 12 buffer zones have been constructed alongside NH-117 and MDR for regulating passenger autos. Speed restrictions has been imposed for all autos. Single-ticket answer for your entire journey has been initiated for seamless journey back and forth Gangasagar.

Crowd Management

About 51 km steel and non permanent barricading has been finished for the motion of the gang. Directional signage has been put in on all main roads, Mela factors and pilgrim services. Real-time monitoring of pilgrims is being finished for which 1,050 CCTV cameras have been positioned in any respect essential places. Around 20 drones will monitor the occasion and GPS-guided Intelligent Crowd Monitoring will likely be finished by an Integrated Control Room. Feed will likely be offered to Nabanna management room as properly for monitoring.

Covid-19 Protocols for Mela

Around 13 medical screening camps in any respect the most important entry factors together with railway stations (Howrah/Sealdah), 13 Rapid Action Test/RTPCR services, Eight secure houses, 11 quarantine centres, 5 isolation centres, hospitals with 600 mattress facility and 6 wellness centres have been arrange. Massive Information and Education Communication marketing campaign, devoted Covid management room, toll free helpline quantity, enforcement of face masks, sanitisers and social distancing and speak to tracing will likely be finished. Ambulances together with three water and one air, and inexperienced hall for transportation, useless physique disposal of Covid sufferers and devoted hearth crew for sanitisation will even be offered. According to the HC order, e-Snan will likely be promoted and all mandatory Covid protocols will likely be adopted.

Kapil Muni ashram in Gangasagar, West Bengal. (Photo: News18)

Health Facilities

Intensive Care Unit and 24X7 autopsy services will likely be offered in Sagar island. Upgraded healthcare service at Namkhana, Chemaguri, Lot-8, Rudra Nagar and Sagar will likely be ensured for higher well being service. A complete of 300 bedded well being services will likely be made out there in and round Sagar and Kakdwip space. One air and three water and 85 ambulance autos will likely be deployed for emergency conditions. Sufficient variety of specialist medical doctors together with paramedics and nurses will likely be pressed into service at Sagar and Lot-8. A Green Corridor will likely be out there for evacuation of sufferers.

Debasish Roy, Chief Medical Officer (well being) of 24 Parganas, mentioned 30% of the medical doctors deputed to Gangasagar are contaminated with Covid. “We have asked for other doctors.”

Emphasis on e-Darshan

Online broadcasting of Gangasagar Mela (e-Darshan), digital supply of Prasad (e-prasad), and doorstep supply of holy water (e-Snan) will likely be out there for pilgrims. Pilgrims Transport Management System (PTMS), digital strips for lacking personnel, cellular app for basic data, Covid watch software program are additionally in place.

The Home and Hill Affairs division, PHE, PWD, Disaster Management, Fire and Emergency, Health and Family Welfare, Irrigation and Waterways, Transport, I&CA, Tourism, WBSEDCL and South 24 Parganas district administration are making a lot of the above preparations for the Gangasagar Mela.

The excessive courtroom has requested the state authorities to adjust to its personal restrictions of not permitting extra 50 individuals at a gathering.

District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas P Ulaganathan instructed News18, “As per the high court, order of the state government dated January 2, 2022, particularly point No 10, shall be complied with. Already the home secretary has issued the order in this respect. Arrangements such as deployment of police, barricading, partitioning, training of police and volunteers, restriction in movement, have been planned so rules are not violated. In this respect, a meeting was also held. Everything will be ensured.”

Senior medical doctors within the state, nevertheless, are usually not satisfied by the measures taken for the Gangasagar Mela. Dr Kunal Sarkar, senior vice-chairman at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata, mentioned, “Bengal fails to give priority to people above populism. The content of arguments on Gangasagar has been puerile and would not have qualified for any undergraduate debate. Judiciary, which lacks the boldness, and the government, which does not have the courage.”

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