Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh on Sunday said that to avoid stampede during the Kumbh Mela 2019, the police department deployed at the Sangam (confluence) may not allow the pilgrims to bathe for more than 41 seconds. If more time is allowed at the confluence, the risk of a stampede may increase, DGP OP Singh said.
OP Singh was speaking on Lessons in management from the Kumbh Model of Governance’ at India Today’s ‘Sangam – Confluence of Minds’ in Lucknow. OP Singh said that the police have worked on how to make the Kumbh a secured pilgrimage this year.
We have been keeping in touch with the police in all other states. We have separate plans for every single day. Preparations regarding everything that a pilgrim would need are being done. To make it a secured Kumbh for everyone, we tried to get in touch with all the stakeholders and took their inputs. Traffic, this time, would be the biggest challenge but we have comprehensive plans to take care of it, he said.
OP Singh said that this time 11-13 diversion schemes have been made to manage the traffic issues. Technology will play an important role this year and the police force would be acting as a role model and a facilitator, OP Singh said.
On being asked what has been done to prepare the police force in case of a stampede or a mishap, OP Singh said the security force is prepared to handle a lot of scenarios that may happen. Nearly 20 to 22,000 policemen would be deployed to protect the fair. Apart from this, 80 battalion paramilitary, rapid action force, fire services, anti-terror squad, national security guard and aerial sniper have been deployed.
Mani Prasad Mishra, former IAS and 2013 Kumbh Mela officer, said that the entire system for the Kumbh is prepared three months before the starting of the fair. It is a record in itself, and such an aptitude is not found anywhere in the world, he said.