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Lakhs bathe in Ganga on Somwati Amawasya
An estimated 25 lakh people took the holy dip in Ganga on the auspicious occasion of Somwati Amavasya on Monday, claimed the district administration and police officials. The influx of the devotees had begun a day ahead on Sunday and a sea of humanity flooded the holy city around Monday noon. A long weekend and the auspicious occasion beckoned the tourists/devotees from Delhi and NCR aside from other States, including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Temporary bus stations set up at Rishikul witnessed heavy rush while the roads were found crammed with vehicles. The flow had started from Sunday night and continued till Monday evening, police said. The Hill by pass road and Chilla Road were opened for traffic to ease congestion on the city roads in view of the heavy influx of the devotees.
The auspicious period of the Amavasya started on Monday morning and lasted till late evening of the same day. The people who flocked to the ghats of the sacred river offered tarpan (offering to the ancestors) at Narayani Shila and Kushawart Ghat. As per the priests who preside over such rituals, the offerings made on the occasion reach straight to the ancestors. The punya acquired through offering tarpan to the ancestors on the occasion gets further enhanced through taking dip in the holy river, say the priests, adding that the merit gained thus exceeds the punya gained through performing the fabled Ashwamedha Yajna.
The district police were on their toes since the time the influx started. SSP Krishna Kumar V K along with his team monitored the movement of the devotees from CCR Tower at Har Ki Pauri while the District Magistrate Deepak Rawat inspected the area in the morning hours.
SSP said that the highway and other roads linking Har Ki Paidi were chock a block since late Sunday night. “In Roorkee there was traffic jam for a few minutes.
Things, however, became normal soon.Till 4 pm, nearly 24 lakh devotees took the dip at Har Ki Paidi and other Ganga ghats. The number further swelled and crossed 25 lakh during the time of the evening arti. However, we made it a point that the highway would not be closed at any point of time. Four wheelers were allowed beyond Rishikul in the afternoon till the railway station,” he added.
Dwelling on the traffic arrangements made for the occasion, SSP said that the mela area had been divided into several zones and sectors. “Cops were positioned along the highway to ensure that the people did not get stuck midway thanks to traffic jams. The district police personnel were too in large number at the important crossings.
As traffic was diverted from Laksar the pace slowed down a bit. But no traffic congestion was reported,” SSP added.
Police further said that the zero zone was marked from post office tri-junction to the main Har Ki Paidi market towards Bhim Goda.
Teams of bomb squad and dog squad were deployed in the mela zone and the whole area was under the lens of the close- circuit cameras, added SSP.
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