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Gangasagar: Dredging operations undertaken for movement of barges carrying pilgrims, says official

Posted on January 8, 2024

The West Bengal government has undertaken essential dredging operations in the Muri Ganga river in South 24 Parganas district to remove sandbars that could hinder the movement of large vessels during the Gangasagar Mela, an official said on Sunday.

According to the official, these large vessels are crucial for transporting lakhs of pilgrims to the island on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 14.

Extensive dredging is carried out on the Muri Ganga throughout the year to ensure that barges can be used to ferry thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country and the world, the official added.

“We have done extensive dredging in the channel. After a survey, we found that this will enable us to use the barges for 16 hours to transport pilgrims coming here,” said Sumit Gupta, the district magistrate of South 24 Parganas.

He added that smaller vessels can easily navigate through the Muri Ganga.

Additionally, the towers of the West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (WBSETCL) will be illuminated to assist vessel movement in the dark, Gupta said.

Around 40 lakh pilgrims are expected to visit Gangasagar Island for the annual holy dip at the confluence of the sacred Ganga and the Bay of Bengal on Makar Sankranti on January 14.

To ensure the safety and security of pilgrims, anti-fog lights and extra LEDs have been installed to illuminate the jetties and Sagar Island, Gupta said.

Over 12,000 policemen will be deployed, and senior police officers, civic volunteers, green police, and disaster management department personnel will also be present, according to another official.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will visit Sagar Island on Monday to review the preparedness for the Mela.

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