Stage Set For Khandagiri Mela To Open In Bhubaneswar Today; Know Norms

Bhubaneswar: Stage is set for the famous Khandagiri Mela to commence in Bhubaneswar on Saturday for which elaborate arrangements and security measures have been made.

The fair, which is taking place near the historic Khandagiri and Udaygiri hills after a break for two years due to COVID-19 curbs, is slated to continue till February 10.

Commissionerate Police has made elaborate security arrangements for the event and deploy seven platoons of force. While five platoons are being deployed to maintain law and order,  two platoons are meant for traffic management, police said.

While all arrangements are in place, Naga sadhus and saints have reached Bhubaneswar to take part in the mela. Preparations to light holy fires in the spots are also complete, sources said.

To ensure smooth conduct of the fair, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has worked out a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) and issued fresh guidelines for jatra (opera) groups, stall owners and visitors.

Opera groups have been asked to ensure that the titles of their plays do not hurt anyone’s sentiments. The plays should not include any form of obscene, intimate, or instigating scenes or dance. The dance parties and open air theatre groups have been asked to refrain from using high volume.

While no loud-speakers would be allowed during the show, the troupes have been told not to use script and dialogues that will hurt the sentiments of any section of the society or community.

Opera owners have also been asked to engage security guards and volunteers to ensure the safety of their actors. The organisers of opera shows have also been advised to install CCTV cameras to keep an eye on anti-social elements visiting their shows. All the opera groups, vendors and stall owners are required to obtain NOC from BMC, police and fire department.

Different opera groups have set up temporary tents and structures on the foothills of Khandagiri. Keeping in mind the footfall of visitors to watch the ‘jatra’, authorities have made arrangements to control the traffic in the area. Shopkeepers have also been allotted space to showcase their merchandise.

Parking on the roadside has been banned and any deviation will attract a fine. Parking arrangements have been made at six different locations close to the venue.

The BMC has made arrangements for parking space at Melan ground, OSRTC field and ASI campus, the sources added.
Emphasising on sanitation measures during the Mela period, the BMC has directed all 250 stalls to make own arrangements for disposal of garbage and not litter those in the area. The restrictions on use of plastic would also be enforced.

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