The preparations are underway for Kumbh Mela 2021 to be held from 1st to 30th April in Haridwar. The Uttarakhand government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year to 30 days.
Officers in charge of the Kumbh Mela said that those who attend the religious congregation should do prior registration at a portal and have a COVID-19 negative report.
Kumbh Mela Officer in Charge Deepak Rawat said, “Our front line workers posted on duty are to be administered with COVID vaccine compulsorily. Visitors should have Coronavirus negative report, issued not earlier than 72 hours.”
“The construction of permanent and temporary amenities is underway. Work at ghats, Astha path, and toilet construction has been completed. The work on bridges is going on,” he added.
He also said that crowd control during Mukhya Snan is the biggest challenge that the police are expecting to face.
“Crowd ‘Hold ups’ are in place, and markings at Ghats has been done to manage the crowd,” he said.
“There will be sanitization units at each ghat. More than 2000 will be deployed to sanitize people. Large scale distribution of free masks will be done,” he added.
Sanjay Gunjiyal, Inspector General of Police in charge of Kumbh Mela, said, “Crowd and traffic management will be a big challenge as the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar takes place in a small area.”
“Other than traditional crowd management methods, we will also employ the use of Artificial Intelligence for head counting, detection of unattended baggage, traffic rule violations, and automatic number plate detection,” he added.
Kumbh Mela is not only a religious pilgrimage but one of the largest mass gatherings at one place. It is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years and spans four locations namely Prayagraj, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Maha Kumbh is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years at four river bank pilgrimage sites across India.