INITIATIVES FOR GANGASAGAR MELA
With prayers on their lips, nearly Lakhs & lakhs of devotees from across the country as well as from neighbouring Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh jostled for space since early hours today to take a dip in the holy water at Gangasagar, also known as 'Sagardwip'. Every year, on Makar Sankranti day, an ocean of pilgrims gathers here to take a dip at the confluence of the River Ganga and the Bay of Bengal and offer prayers in the Kapil Muni Temple. In 2018, around 15 lakh pilgrims had visited the Ganga Sagar Mela. In the year 2019 nearly 20 lakh people witnessed the mela & offered prayers.
The mammoth task of pilgrim management for their safety, security, convenience & accessibility is the biggest challenge & responsibility for the administration as it not connected with the mainland unlike Kumbh Mela or so on which acts as a big threat to attract maximum pilgrims to the holy Sagar Island. The South 24 Parganas District Administration has to bridge the gap from mainland to sea, maintaining all security parameters for their convenience & accessibility. So, the administration has introduced a number of protocols for pilgrim management during mela days for 'Milan Tirtha Gangasagar 2020'.
- The administration has introduced a real-time monitoring system known as ‘Sagar Suraksha’ for the convenience of pilgrims
- The software gives over-crowd alert, trespassing alerts, forthcoming crowd gathering alert, smoke & fire alert etc. to help the police & volunteers manage the crowd in-flow & out flow in a smooth manner to avoid congestion
- Smart monitor technology will be displayed to enable early prediction of threats in an automated way.
- - Gangasagar mobile app coined as ‘Atithi Path’ which provides all important information’s of Gangasagar 2020 like fare, route chart, timings of tide, vessel & puja.
- The app acts as a virtual tour guide, integrated with the Gangasagar website & social media page.
- It will also act as a security measure as it is integrated with Sagar suraksha system. While using the app the real time geo location of the user will be shown and for any emergency, he/she will be reachable immediately.
- The administration has introduced a vehicle tracking & management system for timely & smooth movement of traffic in installed area through the use of GPS technology named ‘Vahan Darshan’.
- Due to the lack of physical monitoring, buses & launches sometimes become off route in intermediate lanes during their duty, so a GPS device installed in all buses will enable us to track their movement. So, in case the vehicle is off route for long time, the mobile patron team will bring them back to actual route.
- For uninterrupted all-weather voice transmission an alternative calling system has been introduced named as ‘Sagar Sanchar’ placed at strategic points in mela through the use of VHF Radio Technology.
- Key officials will be deployed at different locations to be connected with two-way transmission system.
- 50 Manpacks / key officials will be deployed at a radius of approx. 40 km from Mela control room.
- WIFI Booths will be installed for the convenience of pilgrims to call via an app.
- Outdoor display
- LED Screens to be installed at prominent locations for the pilgrims showcasing Gangasagar videos coined as ‘E- Darshan’. The screens will provide all relevant information about Gangasagar 2020 along with various schemes undertaken by the Govt. of West Bengal.
- Website & Social Media
- An informative website has been structured for pilgrim awareness, convenience & accessibility.
- Being an interactive new age media, it provides all important information related to the Mela & transmits Live Coverage from the mela ground.
- It also offers a dedicated social media page (Facebook & Instagram) is there to provide a glimpse of the latest activities, events, pics of the Mela.
- It acts as a platform where the pilgrims can aware, educate, engage themselves & place a query while making them updated on the go.
- CCTV Surveillance is a very crucial tool for monitoring the mela & pilgrim activities termed as 'E-Nirikhan'.
- 5 control rooms have been set up with electrical & infrastructural equipment's.
- Use of IP, Analog & Drone driven CCTV Camera for 24x7 monitoring.
- 10 Buffer Zones to be covered with surveillance along with the transmission of live feed to designated locations.
- The West Bengal government installed 1000 CCTV cameras along the over 150 km route from Babughat in Kolkata to the Sagar Island, deployed around 3,000 policemen and pressed into service 20 security drones as part of its security coverage.
- The administration has introduced ‘Parichay’- a QR Wrist band for pilgrim’s convenience to minimize lost & found cases.
- The bands will be offered to elders & minors free of cost at buffer zones to track their companions.
- In case of lost & found the volunteers can fetch their details from the wrist bands & collate with database.
- 'e-Snan', first of its kind of initiative by the administration, wherein people can take a bath with the Ganga Jal at their convenience while watching ‘LIVE Gangasagar’ via GS website & take the feel of ‘SahiSnan’.
- A ‘Tirtha Samagri Pack’ was introduced, which consists of a Ganga Jal container, Prasad & Holy Tika which can be booked through the website, only delivery charges will be applicable.
- This year the Administration has introduced a Helpline No. 1800-345-2020 (Toll Free) which can be accessed from any part of India, people can place their queries & ask for any help
- Gangasagar Bakkhali Development Authority (GBDA) and South 24 Parganas District Administration has decided to make Gangasagar Mela, 2020 an Eco-friendly, Green and Clean one by imposing ban on single-use plastic bags, thermocol (EPS) & paper plates along with the distribution of alternative Eco-friendly materials in & around the Mela premises.
- Promotion of Eco-friendly Gangasagar Mela 2020 through awareness campaign by the participation of local community.Build up capacities of young community members specially fishermen community to implement marine litter management in the coastal line area near Mela Ground.Collection, segregation& disposal service of biodegradable & non bio-degradable material will be available in and around the Mela Ground and sea beach. Solid waste & floating trash managementwill be done on regular basis in the mela area & beach.
South 24 Parganas District Administration welcomes everybody at a Safe & Secured Milan Tirtha Ganga Sagar 2020.