Bhubaneswar: Expecting a footfall of about 50 lakh devotees during the Nabakalebar festival of Lord Jagannath in July, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday geared up the administration and asked it to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) in order to avoid any untoward incident.
"Patnaik asked the administration to formulate a SOP to avoid any mishap like fire accident, stampede or health hazard due to massive congregation of people at Puri," a senior official said after attending a meeting.
Patnaik categorically told the health department to have proper coordination with other departments and ensure a healthy festival which is 15-day long.
"The chief minister has asked to work in coordination among departments," Health Minister Atanu S Nayak said adding that the state government has planned at least 500 additional beds in different hospitals in and around Puri, 100 first aid centres, 120 ambulances and deployment of above 900 para medical staff to provide proper health service to the devotees.
Besides deployment of 200 volunteers from St Jhones Ambulance and Red Cross, school and college students are being trained on providing first aid during the festival.
Adequate arrangements are being made for proper sanitation, drinking water, traffic, power supply, road and rail connectivity and above all security, the official said.
While Patnaik reviewed the progress in the preparedness for the Nabakalebar festival, Chief Secretary G C Pati and additional chief secretary to chief minister A P Padhi attended two more meetings.
"We hope that all the arrangements will be in place by June," Padhi said while director general of police Sanjeev Marik claimed that security arrangements would be made in ground level, in air and also in sea to ensure a safe Nabakalebar festival.