20% increase in footfall expected at Nashik Kumbh

  • | Sunday | 1st October, 2023

Nashik: Mumbai-based Resilient India, an NGO working in the field of disaster risk and crowd management, has advised the Nashik civic body to take adequate measures to avoid any disaster during the Kumbh Mela, which is scheduled in 2027-28. The mega-event this time is also expected to see a 20% increase in attendance when compared to previous editions.Rajeev Choubey, the NGOs risk management specialist, gave a presentation to Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Ashok Karanjkar with the request to include several measures in Kumbh planning.While the civic body is responsible for setting up the infrastructure, the police is responsible for handing the system. In order to avoid any glitches, we met the civic commissioner and presented several ideas to him. The ideas can be easily implemented and will ensure the safety of the pilgrims visiting the city as well as local residents, said Choubey,During the main Kumbh Mela events in 2015-16, the city had nearly 75 lakh people. As per the new projections, this time, the number might increase to one crore.The Kumbh Mela in Nashik is different from the one held at Prayagraj. In Nashik, the Kumbh venue is in the heart of the city and is congested. Moreover, the event takes place during peak monsoon.We will have to plan to ensure that a maximum number of people come to the city. At the same time, they should be able to leave the venue quickly, especially in case of a disaster, like a flash flood, said Choubey.The planning must start with the outer parking , where better amenities have to be provided so that the pilgrims can be stopped there if needed. Similarly, the inner parking areas must be developed too. Besides, the NMC also must look after the needs of local residents. During the last Kumbh Mela, security was too tight and many locals were inconvenienced, a police officer said.City engineer Shivkumar Vanjari said this was the first step in exchange of information between the NGO and the NMC. The NGO has highlighted the focus areas including crowd management, health, fire and law and order. Based on the suggestions, the civic body and the police would prepare a road-map.Meanwhile, the Kumbh this time would benefit from digital monitoring. With the help of advanced technologies, the police would collect information on footfall and rush in particular areas. This would help in better crowd management. The information can be passed on to people, so that they can decide which place is suitable for them to take the holy dip, said police commissioner Ankush Shinde.

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