Haridwar: The otherwise calm and quiet
city of Haridwar is abuzz with activities as lakhs of devotees, sadhus and
tourists have converged here for the Kumbh mela beginning
Over 25 lakh people are expected to take a `snan`
(bath) in the Ganga tomorrow on the occasion of `Makar
Sankranti` -- the day when the sun starts to move northwards
marking the decline of winter.
Eight lakh people have already reached the city,
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
said all steps have been taken to ensure incident-free fair.
"Heavy security has been put in place for smooth conduct of
the Mahakumbh," Nishank said.
"All arrangements have been made. Security forces have
been deployed at 130 sq km area to ensure that no untoward
incident occurs," Kumbh mela in-charge Anand Vardhan said.
From fresh tarred and pothole-free roads to banners
welcoming the devotees, the city springs with clean and tidy
look ahead of the Kumbh, considered one of the largest
religious gathering in the world.
Gone are the illegal constructions along the roads or
the overflowing sewage, the city has painted itself into a
new colour. The state government has pressed in the entire
administration for smooth functioning of the Kumbh and has
set up extensive camps to facilitate lodging of the devotees.