Kolkata: Ahead of the Durga Puja in West Bengal, Kolkata Police has tightened security across the city so that thousands of pandal hoppers do not face any trouble while ushering in the festive spirit.
Massive police arrangements have been made from Chaturthi which is on October 13. From Panchami, 8,000-strong police force will be deployed across the city. Police officers will work in three shifts to avoid long and hectic hours during the pujas. "From morning 8am-4pm, the first team will be deployed. From afternoon 4pm-12 midnight and from 12 midnight to 8am are the shifts for policemen. As many as 800 police pickets have been put in place near Durga puja pandals across the city besides police assistance booths have been set up incase anyone wants to know the route or seek any other help," said a senior official of Kolkata Police.
As many as 25 divisional mobiles and 46 watch towers at important locations have been put in place for immediate intervention.
Besides the current CCTVs, an additional 74 CCTV cameras have been installed to for security and crowd control. "The footage and CCTV feed will be monitored round the clock by police officials in the control room," added the official.
This apart, the official further added that as many as 27 trauma care ambulances will move around the city to address emergencies. Nine missing persons squads will also be placed to help find missing person or children in the maddening crowd.
Separate security arrangements have been drawn for the days of Durga idol immersion as well. "Immersion will take place between October 19 and 22. Security has been beefed up across the 23 ghats of Kolkata where idols will be immersed. At each of these ghats, speed boats, divers will be on standby. A total of 5,000 Kolkata Home Guards will be deployed at the ghats," said the official.
The police has categorically stated that Durga puja committees will not be allowed to play loud music or make use of DJs while on their way to the ghats for idol immersion.