49-day Kumbh mela begins, 1.25 crore devotees expected to take holy dip today

The stage is set for the commencement of the much-publicised 49-day Kumbh Mela with its first official bathing of Makar Sankranti on Tuesday to be undertaken by about 1.25 crore devotees.

Heavy security arrangements are in place with police and paramilitary forces deployed at strategic places in Kumbh Mela area and other places in the city. The senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kumbh KP Singh said over 20,000 police, paramilitary and other personnel have been deployed in the Kumbh Mela area for security of pilgrims.

Mela officials said around 35 lakh devotees took the holy dip on Monday. Bathing would take place at 35 bathing ghats roughly stretched over an area of 5.5 km in the mela area.

Referring to the theme of ‘Swachch Kumbh’, to Kumbh Mela officer Vijay Kiran Anand said over one lakh toilets had been made functional in the mela area, 17,000 dustbins were placed at various points and 25,000 sanitation staff deployed for maintaining cleanliness.

Union minister of state for food processing industries Niranjan Jyoti anointed as the “mahamandaleshwar” of the Niranjani akhada.

People visiting the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj can access real-time temperature, humidity, rainfall and other weather data on their phones. The weather prediction for the next three days will also be available on the ‘Kumbh Mela Weather Service’ app that can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences on Monday launched the special services for the Mela that will be held between January and March.

“The real-time location-specific weather information will not only be very helpful for the local and state authorities in the efficient management of the entire event but also benefit the pilgrims by keeping them abreast of the latest weather information,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, the union minister for science and technology.

To provide the location-specific data, four automatic weather stations, in a 10-km radius , have been set up in the city. In addition, there will be a mobile van that will collect the weather data to provide accurate local weather forecast.

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