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Dredging work in Muriganga River kicks off

Posted on January 2, 2024

Kolkata: The dredging work in Muriganga River near Kakdwip will start from December 31. It will take three to five days to complete the work, the District Magistrate of South 24-Parganas said on Friday.

Usually, two dredgers are kept during Gangasagar Mela, but this time there will be an additional dredger from Farakka which will be deployed. In total three dredgers will be kept till the end of the mela to ensure smooth vessel transit.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday expressed concern over the siltation in the deep channel of Muriganga River that may have developed due to the sinking of a Bangladeshi trawler in 2013.

Banerjee was informed of the siltation issue by the minister-in-charge of Sundarban Affairs department Bankim Chandra Hazra. The District Magistrate of South 24-Parganas held a press meet on Friday charting out the arrangements made for Gangasagar Mela.

The administration is expecting at least 40 lakh pilgrims this year.

The DM informed that during Gangasagar Mela 2023, they had faced problems due to fog, hence for the 2024 Mela, arrangements for fog lights have been made. The WBTC will arrange the lights within Muriganga Channel and will also place small boats with light and sound.

The Public Health Engineering (PHE) department will also keep extra lights on the jetties to increase vessel visibility. Furthermore, 90 fog lights with volunteers will be placed at different strategic points.

For the Mela, vessel steerers (sareng) will also be trained and walkie-talkies will be provided to each vessel. Six barges, 32 vessels and 100 wooden launches will be deployed at Lot-8 and Namkhana for transportation of pilgrims. All the vessels, launches and barges will be fitted with advanced GPS devices with an integrated software which will be monitored from the Mega Control Room at Sagar. About 2500 buses will carry pilgrims from Railway station, airport and bus stands to Gangasagar. Additional trains will also be arranged from Howrah, Sealdah and Namkhana. There will be 13 buffer zones and 10 parking zones along NH-117 and MDR for regulating passenger vehicles. The district administration will be using the NavIC Technology (Navigation with Indian Constellation consisting of seven satellites and a network of ground stations which provides accurate information) developed by ISRO. Around 2400 Civil Defense Volunteers, Quick Response Team, Deep Divers, Naval Divers, NDRF and Coastal Guard will be deployed for disaster management.

QR Code facility will be available in Gangasagar Mela 2024 which will provide all necessary details such as location of different camps, drinking water supply, puja timings and healthcare facilities. A total of 300 beds will be made available in and around Sagar and Kakdwip area. About 100 ambulances, an air ambulance and four water ambulances deployed for emergency health care.


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