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 Ganga Sagar, 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 West Bengal government installed 500 CCTV cameras along the over 100 km route from Babughat in Kolkata to the Sagar Island, deployed around 3,000 policemen and pressed into service seven security drones as part of its security coverage.
For the first time, the state government equipped its officials with satellite phones to ensure uninterrupted connectivity during the Mela. The West Bengal government also introduced the Sagar Sanjog Scheme, for providing real-time information regarding the movement of transport facilities for people and vehicles too.For the pilgrims, 60 giant LED screens were placed at different points for updates about the timings and tariffs of trains, buses and ferries, tide timings as well as safety precautions. The information was provided in three languages -- Bengali, Hindi and English.