Do you know that the total crowd accumulating during the Simhastha is almost equal to the one-third of the total American population?
The heart of India, Madhya Pradesh is all geared up to welcome the guests at the Simhastha Kumbh Mela in April 2016. Madhya Pradesh Government is trying its best to make the grand festival experience comfortable, safe and memorable for all the visitors.
The authorities are planning to make use of the latest technology in order to provide best facilities and monitor the huge crowd. They are trying their best to stay organised and pre-planned in order to handle the crowd which is going to be in millions. Pilgrims from across the globe will be gathering at the Maha Kumbh Mela for the “Shahi Snan” (Holy Dip) at the river Kshipra. Crowd management is the most important issue which will be handled by around twenty three thousand police staff and sixty thousand special Kumbh Mela volunteers. The 7.25 km long ghats are being renovated for devotees and being rebuilt with stronger GIS-based arrangements.
An ephemeral spiritual city is constructed during the Simhastha Maha Kumbh at Ujjain that spreads on four thousand hectares of land. Keeping in mind the management and security of the massive crowd, the extensive area will be divided into six zones, sixteen sectors and around forty-two temporary police stations will be created. Along with this, around six hundred CCTV cameras, four drone camera and two hundred fifty-six watch towers will be installed for surveillance. Twenty-five thousand police officials are specially appointed for security purposes during the month long event. Officials have also appointed twenty bomb detection and disposal squads along with twenty-five quick response teams for security purposes. The city police will also be provided with 2,500 wireless sets for effective communication during the clustered event. Authorities are making all the necessary efforts for a hassle-free visit for the devotees during Simhastha.
Every Simhastha, millions of devotees perform the holy bath ritual at the Kumbh Mela. They take bath in the pious river Kshipra in order to wash away all their sins and attain “Moksha”. Kshipra cleaning drive is an initiative being undertaken by the District administration at Ujjain along with the people of Ujjain. The drive was initiated on Sunday, December 13th 2015 with Kshipra Aradhana by the Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya at Triveni Ghat. The Khipra cleaning drive started from Triveni Ghat and ended at the Chakrateerth. Ozone gas is also being used to disinfect and purify the water of the river Kshipra thereby, making it safe for use. The bubbles of ozone gas will be released through pipelines to clean the water of the holy river. The Madhya Pradesh Government has also promised to provide safe and hygienic drinking water during Simhastha to all the devotees. The use of polythenes is being prohibited in the Mahakal Temple area to maintain cleanliness. The authorities are even trying their best to make the whole Ujjain city polythene-free and for the same various women self-help groups are fabricating paper and cloth bags.
The grandiose festival of faith will be controlled technically by the means of series of watchtowers across all the twenty-two sectors of the land area, RFID tags, headcount cameras, satellite imagery and mobile based density crowd will help to estimate the head counts. As per another high tech move, Ujjain has also requested Google to implement Project Loon during the Grand Simhastha Kumbh Mela 2016. These high altitude balloons provide internet connections to rural and remote areas. If this project gets implemented, Ujjain will be the first city in India to have Google Loon. Also, Geo fencing will monitor the staff during Simhastha. If an employee moves away from the area of his responsibility during his/her duty hours, the concerned monitoring officer will be immediately informed about it via SMS.
The Green Simhastha Campaign supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will ensure the cleanliness and hygiene during Simhastha 2016. The world renowned organisation had previously provided bins and logistics for sanitation during the Kumbh Mela at Nasik. BSNL is also gearing up to provide adequate and enhanced communication services during Simhastha. The BSNL authorities will be creating eleven mobile towers in order to handle the ample crowd. Looking at such intense preparations by the Madhya Pradesh Government, it seems like the Mega event is undoubtedly going to be a huge success.
Author – Priyal Matreja