.........PURI: The district and Sri Jagannath Temple administration breathed a sigh of relief after the broken axle of Darpadalana chariot of Devi Subhadra was successfully replaced with a new one.
Biswakarma Maharanas, Works Department engineers and railway engineers worked on a war footing since Thursday morning to construct a new axle. The front axle of the chariot broke on Wednesday under pressure, which had led to apprehensions over the annual Rath Yatra.
A new axle has been constructed from a fresh Phasi timber log. Axles of three chariots were made of Phasi timber, which is considered the strongest among the tree species.
With the help of heavy duty railway hydraulic jacks provided by EcoR, the front portion of the chariot was lifted to a height while the ground level was dug deep to facilitate removal of the two wheels and the broken axle. The new axle was fixed to the chassis of the chariot in the presence of chief engineer, works, S R Sethy. The chariot construction committee members, including the temple engineer, were present.
Biswakarma Maharanas said this is not an isolated case. Damage to wheels and other parts of the chariots had been witnessed in the past as well. However, this time, the damage was witnessed at the last stage of the chariot construction.
Puri set to be fortified, 6 CCTVs to monitor crowd
Puri will turn into a fort during the annual Rath Yatra. As many as 127 platoons of police force along with other security personnel will be deployed in the Pilgrim Town to maintain law and order. This was decided at a review meeting on security during Rath Yatra that was held under the chairmanship of DGP KB Singh here on Thursday. The Rath Yatra will begin on June 25. Six close circuit cameras (CCTVs) will be put up around the temple to keep an eye on crowd movement. Puri town has been divided into five categories and four inspectors-general rank police officials have been engaged to ensure smooth conduct of the festival. While IG Soumendra Priyadarshi will look after security provisions in and around the Jagannath temple, IG Diptesh Kumar Pattanayak will be in charge of the chariot cordons.
Similarly, IG Sanjiv Panda will be in charge of traffic management on the Grand Road while IG Asit Panigrahi will look into preventing traffic congestion during the deitiesí journey. ADGs Satyajit Mohanty and Binayananda Jha will look after overall security during the Rath Yatra. Apart from 127 platoons of police force, two companies each of Rapid Action Force, Special Operation Group (SOG) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force will be deployed throughout Puri to maintain law and order. As many as 28 SPs, 68 DSPs, 136 inspectors, 643 SIs, 468 constables, 113 traffic constables and 1,580 home guards will also be engaged.