Maha govt to focus on crowd management for Nashik 'Kumbh Mela'

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government will focus on crowd management to avoid stampede like situations during the forthcoming 'Kumbh Mela' to be held in Nashik. The 'Kumbh Mela', the largest congregation of Hindu devotees, will be held in Nashik from July 14 to September 25.

Principal Secretary (Home) B K Upadyay told PTI, the administration was laying thrust on channelising the crowd which is estimated to be minimum 12 to 13 lakh in the first 15 days.

"The government will focus on crowd management to avoid stampede like situation. There would be barricading of the areas where people are expected to visit and creating of holding areas for safety of 1,000 to 2,000 people if the crowd does not move," he said.

"Similarly, public address systems will be used and about 1,000 CCTVs have been installed on temporary basis," he added. For general surveillance duties and security, police personnel in plain clothes from across the state and from neighbouring states will be deployed, Upadyay said.

Similarly, the Maharashtra police will also co-ordinate with health department to prevent outbreak of epidemic. A separate health desk has been set up in Nashik for the purpose, he added.

During the last 'Kumbh Mela', held in 2003, 39 pilgrims died and 57 were injured in a stampede.

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