Baliyatra festival begins in Odisha



Cuttack: The Baliyatra festival, commemorating the ancient maritime glory of Odisha, got off to a glittering start in this silver city.

Believed to be the largest trade fair in this part of the country, the famous festival would continue till December 04 with the possibility of a day’s extension.

The festival reminds the past when merchants from Odisha sailed to far-eastern countries for trade and commerce and also marks culmination of the holy month of Kartik.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who inaugurated the week-long festival last evening, also unveiled a permanent arch of the Baliyatra ground which was erected by the local civic body at a cost of Rs 50 lakh.

Amid unprecedented security arrangement, the festival is likely to witness at least five lakh visitors every day. The city police have mobilised adequate forces to man the ground.

Besides anti-sabotage, anti-terrorist and quick reaction forces, the city police have also deployed watch tower personnel, sniffers and installed CCTVs to identify anti-social elements.

"Video recordings are also made at vulnerable points to keep a watch on mischief mongers," police said.

PTI