**Puri:** Stage all set for the grandest festival of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra on Wednesday.
Despite Tuesday being the ‘Nabajoubana Darshan’ and lakhs of devotees and pilgrims thronging the pilgrim town the day before the D-day, all was well on the day.
The day is also marked with the ‘dakhina moda’ (southern turn) of the three gigantic chariots from the ‘ratha khala’ (spot of chariot carving) towards the ‘Singhadwara’ (Lions Gate/ Main Gate of the temple).
However, the solemnisation of scheduled rituals got delayed over three hours by the temple servitors following which the ‘agnyamala’ of the deities reached the chariots very late and the three chariots reached one by one before the ‘Singhadwara’ late in the evening on Tuesday.
Even though elaborate security arrangements have been made by the Odisha Police, major challenges that lurk are of stampede during the chariot pulling and possible terror threats.
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, ADG (Law & Order ) Satyajit Mohanty said that major challenge is stampede for which police have drawn strategies to avoid it.
“No cross influx of crowd will be allowed,” he said, adding, “if situation arises crowd can be eased out through the by-lanes connecting the Bada Danda”.
Police personnel on Monday have already conducted mock drill of the chariot pulling in a bid to identify their weaknesses if any and strengthen it, the DGP had on Monday informed media.
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, IG (Central Range) R.P. Koche on Tuesday said that comprehensive arrangements have been made so far the security measures are concerned.
Koche informed that over 131 platoons of police force have been deployed and adequate number of officers have been mobilised to look after the crowd control, traffic arrangement, security of coast and above all anti-terrorist measures.
On the possible terrorist attack on the occasion as recently such shocking incidents have already rocked India’s neighbour Bangladesh and elsewhere, Koche informed that there have been no such inputs either from the local sources or intelligence sources, but Odisha Police has geared up its machinery and adequate precautionary and preventive measures have already been taken to thwart and pre-empt such sinister designs of the terrorists.
Notwithstanding that, all eyes are on the grandest festival and the devotees and pilgrims were seen least bothered about anything pinning their firm faith in the Lord of Universe and surrendering all unto Him.