Odisha govt announces special security battalion for Puri’s Jagannath temple

The decision, greenlit by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, comes in response to recommendations by 5T chairman VK Pandian after thorough discussions with various stakeholders.

| Updated: 26 December, 2023 12:58 pm IST
Jagannath Temple, Puri

NEW DELHI: In a significant move to bolster security and streamline crowd management at the Jagannath Temple in Puri, the Odisha government announced on Monday the establishment of a dedicated Special Security Battalion.

 

The decision, greenlit by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, comes in response to recommendations by 5T chairman VK Pandian after thorough discussions with various stakeholders.

 

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The Special Security Battalion, comprising approximately 1,190 personnel, will be strategically deployed to focus on ensuring the foolproof security of the temple, effective crowd management, and facilitating the orderly darshan (viewing) of the deities for the scores of devotees who visit the sacred site daily.

 

“The new battalion would have the primary responsibility of providing foolproof security to the temple, will be specially trained for better crowd management and to ensure hassle-free and orderly darshan by devotees,” stated the Chief Minister’s office.

 

Under the command and control of the Puri Superintendent of Police, the battalion is expected to play a pivotal role in handling the anticipated surge in the number of devotees, particularly after the inauguration of the Shree Mandir Parikrama Project (SMPP) on January 17. The SMPP, funded at a cost of ₹943 crores, aims to transform the area around the 12th-century Jagannath Temple into a modern pilgrim centre with state-of-the-art facilities.

 

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This project will include a rectangular corridor with modern amenities such as a queue management system capable of accommodating 6,000 devotees, baggage screening facilities, a cloakroom for nearly 4,000 families, as well as provisions for drinking water, toilets, and hand/foot washing facilities.

 

Officials expect a significant increase in the daily footfall at the temple, which currently stands at 50,000, especially with the inauguration of the Srimandir Heritage Corridor project. The move to establish a dedicated security battalion underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and comfort of devotees, aligning with the vision of transforming the Jagannath Temple into a seamlessly managed and modern pilgrimage destination.

 

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