Rath Yatra Preparatory Meet Held, Safety & Health Measures Discussed

**Bhubaneswar: ** The Odisha Health and Family Welfare Department, along with other important district level officers today conducted a preparatory meet to review the level of preparedness for this year’s Rath Yatra, scheduled to be held on July 14. The district administration, besides officials of Health and Family Welfare Department and Revenue Department were present during the review meeting.

Representatives from various line departments like electricity, health and drinking water supply etc assured to provide uninterrupted service during the festival. The Police Department also assured to make effective security arrangement. Health, Hygiene and Security were the issues which formed the crux of the discussions.

Speaking on this, Puri District Collector Arvind Agarwall said, “The Health Department, alike every year would make arrangements for first-aid centres, ambulance deployment, availability of medicines, etc. A food safety vigilance team will be constituted of six officers who would periodically examine food and water quality in the city during the Rath Yatra this year.”

Odisha’s Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty said, “The Puri District Administration, along with other important officials had organised this meeting to discuss safety and health measures in view of the upcoming Rath Yatra. Emphasis would be given on safety, security and health of the devotees who throng to Puri in large numbers during the festival. Health Inspectors will keep an eye on food and water safety and police will be vigilant on key locations including the Puri-Bhubaneswar and Puri-Konark roads. The Health Department, Police Department and district administration will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Rath Yatra is a joyous occasion alike every year.”

Throwing light on the issues discussed in the meet, Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena said, “In the meeting, we discussed the measures to be adopted and steps to be taken for the eradication of shortcomings in realms of health, hygiene and safety. We will make sure that the pilgrims coming to the holy city face no problems and have a pleasant experience here.”

Jena also informed that important vacant posts in hospitals would be filled up and all the health care centres will be inspected prior to the festival. A special team has been formed for the purpose which would visit hospitals and take measures to upgrade them besides eradication of existing problems.

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