GUWAHATI, June 21 � The religious rituals of the famous Ambubachi Mela at the Kamakhya Temple, a seat of Hindu Shakti worshipping, is going to start from the dusk of June 22, even as the mela for all administrative purposes is going to start from the morning of June 23. The mela will come to a conclusion on June 26.
Meanwhile, elaborate arrangements have been made to receive the devotees visiting the Shakti shrine during the mela days.
According to Anup Prasad Sarma, publicity secretary of the Kamakhya Ambubachi Mahotsava Parichalana Samiti, the doors of the shakti temple will be closed at the dusk tomorrow and in the morning hours of June 26, which is a Sunday, the doors of the temple will be opened for the visitors, after the ritualistic performances � called Nitya Puja � by the temple priests.
Citing the reasons, Sarma said, quoting from the Tantra, that if the deity which is worshipped is kept isolated for more than three nights, it becomes powerless and requires another fresh invocation for restoration of its spiritual power.
For security reasons, the Kamakhya Debottar Board has installed 64 CCTVs on the hillock about 15 days back and the 34 CCTVs, proposed to be installed by the administration of Kamrup (Metro) District for the same purpose, are yet to be installed, Sarma said in reply to a question.
The Debottar Board has 500 active volunteers and the NCC, Civil Defence, Scouts and Guides, etc., organizations are expected to deploy around 500 additional volunteers on the hillock during the mela days. Besides, the Kamakhya residents would also act as volunteers as usual, he said.
The Kamrup (Metro) District Police have also assured deployment of 70 police officers, 100 constables and setting up of four battalion camps on the hillock to ensure smooth running of the mela, Sarma said.
The Debottar Board and the Joint Director of Health Services of the district are setting up two major medical camps for the devotees taking part in the grand event, in which around 16 lakh devotees are expected to take part in various manners. NGOs are also setting up ten more medical camps.
For the event, five ambulances, including the two owned by the Debottar Board and the Health Department, are available with the authorities. The authorities of the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury (MMC) Hospital and the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMC) have kept ten beds reserved for the devotees of the mela.
Moreover, each of the Debottar Board healthcare centre and the Health Department healthcare centre at Kamakhya has four beds reserved for the mela devotees, said the Mahotsava Samiti publicity secretary.
The Debottar Board healthcare centre has four oxygen cylinders and one lakh bottles of saline reserved for the mela purpose, while there are five permanent doctors at the disposal of the Debottar Board. Seven doctors will also be made available by the Government to the hillock during the mela days. The Debottar Board also has five nurses at its disposal, said Sarma.
In reply to another question, Sarma said that about 60 per cent of devotees visiting the Shakti shrine during the mela days belong to West Bengal. The Mahotsava Samiti has set up 11 camps for sheltering the devotees, while some of the devotees will take shelter with the families living on the hillock, the two guest houses of the Kamakhya temple, the temples located on the hillock, at Kamakhya Railway Station, Bhutnath Temple, Guwahati Nursery, etc., places, he said.
The Debottar Board and other 35 NGOs will supply food, like cooked rice, to the devotees visiting the shrine during the mela days, while 14 other NGOs will supply fruits, etc., to the devotees, said Sarma.
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has assured deployment of 200 safai workers on the hillock during the mela days, while it has also assured to provide 200 water taps, two dumpers and one robot (a small excavator) to remove the garbage from the hillock.
The GMC is also going to provide the hillock with 200 temporary latrines, a sizeable quantity of bleaching powder, potash permanganate and with a fogging machine. But these arrangements are not adequate for the large number of people gathering on the hillock, Sarma said.
However, to add to all these, the Debottar Board has 100 permanent toilets, 215 temporary toilets and it is engaging 500 safai workers on its own, said Sarma.
To meet the eventualities, two fire tenders are provided by the State Fire Services Directorate to the hillock. However, there should be a full-fledged disaster management system in place for such a large mela where lakhs of people gather for several days.