Gangasagar Mela: Coast Guard Personnel Keep Watch, Boats And Aircraft Deployed
The Indian Coast Guard has deployed its boats and aircraft to provide security in the ongoing Gangasagar Mela at the Sagar island of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal. Read on for details:
South 24 Parganas: The Indian Coast Guard has deployed its boats and aircraft to provide security in the ongoing Gangasagar Mela at the Sagar island of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal.
Speaking about the elaborate security arrangements made by the Indian Coast Guard, Abhijit Dasgupta, Commanding officer of the Indian Coast Guard (Kolkata), said that the coast guard boats and aircraft have been deployed in the area to keep a strict vigil on the mela and prevent any untoward incident.
"The maritime boundary with Bangladesh is nearby. Keeping this in view, the Coast Guard ships have been pressed into action. Also, surveillance is being conducted from the sky," he said.
"A total air-sea coordinated security cover is being provided by the coast guard," he said. "The devotees have come in large numbers to the mela. If any untoward incident happens during taking the holy dip, we will launch a search and rescue operation and bring that devotee out of the water," said Dasgupta.
He said that the Indian Coast guard is working in close coordination with the NDRF, SDRF and district administration to provide security at the mela. Apart from the Indian Coast Guard, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also deployed teams in the Gangasagar area to prevent any untoward incidents.
Two sniffer dogs have also been deployed as part of search and rescue operations if required. "It is a new initiative where we have deployed dogs for search operations in water. Two dogs have been trained for the purpose and we have also gained success from them," said, Sudhir Dwivedi, Assistant Commandant of NDRF.
"A total of five teams have been deployed in Lot 8 of Kachuberia, Sagar Kapil Muni temple, Benuban and Namkhana," he said. On the other hand, West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services Minister Sujit Bose said around 14,000 police personnel have been deployed at the fair site for security reasons, adding that over 31 lakh pilgrims had arrived for the auspicious occasion.
Meanwhile, devotees took a holy dip in the Ganges at Gangasgar for the second straight day, marking Makar Sankranti. One of the most auspicious times in the year, Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun from Dakshinayan to Uttarayan. Taking a dip in the Ganges is believed to be sacred on the occasion.
Devotees and sadhus from different parts of the country flocked to Gangasagar Mela for the holy dip on the occasion of the harvest festival. Devotees offered prayers to the sun god. A prominent festival on the Indian calendar, Makar Sankranti marks the first day of the sun's transit into the Makara, marking the end of the winter solstice and the start of longer days.(ANI)