Civil Aviation Ministry Refuses To Declare Puri As ‘No Flying Zone’ During Rath Yatra

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Bhubaneswar: The union civil aviation ministry has refused to accord ‘No flying zone’ tag to Puri during the annual Rath Yatra festival in the pilgrim town.

Earlier Odisha police had sought the permission from the Centre to declare Puri and its periphery as ‘No Flying Zone’ during the Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath.

Puri being an international civil aviation route, accordance of no-flying-zone permission to Puri is not feasible, a letter by the union ministry said.

The nine-day festival will begin on July 14 and it is expected that lakhs of devotees would congregate in the pilgrim town to witness the chariot festival.

Large numbers of police personnel will be deployed to give proper security arrangement to the devotees and tourists during Gundicha Yatra, Bahuda Yatra, Sunavesha, Nabajoubana Darshana and Niladribije.

140 platoons of police force and 1,000 officers are being deployed during Rath Yatra, senior police officials said.

The police officers have been instructed to keep a strict vigil on the visitors in all hotels in Puri while adequate security personnel would be deployed along the coast.

The Coast Guard has agreed for adequate sea patrolling off the coast of Puri while the Railway Protection Force (RPF) offered to ensure adequate security at Puri and Bhubaneswar railway stations.

Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief Pradipta Mohapatra said CCTVs will be installed around the Gundicha temple during the festival.

On the other hand, the three chariots of the deities were kept ready. The chariots carrying the deities will be pulled by the devotees to Gundicha temple on July 14 after a series of rituals.

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