To avoid any untoward incident as the city would plunge into the Durga Puja festivities, Kolkata Police have set in place security arrangements for the next week till the immersions.
Apart from the existing strength, around 5,000 additional police personnel would be pressed into service during the five-day long Durga Puja celebrations from Friday, a senior Kolkata Police officer said, adding drones would be used to keep vigil.
“We are enforcing an extra layer of surveillance across the city during the upcoming Durga Pujas. Foolproof security arrangements have been made to thwart any untoward incident.”
“Extra forces will be there along with the additional forces. Around 12,000 police will be on duty during these five days till the immersion on October 14,” Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Headquarters) Supratim Sarkar said.
“Though there is no specific terror threat, we have beefed up security in view of the sensitive situation at this time,” he said.
In fact, Kolkata Police would use drones to keep vigil on the crowd.
Deployment of police for the Durga Pujas would start from today (Maha-Chaturthi) itself, another senior police officer said.
“Security will be stepped up at every metro station as well as on every road of the city. Police personnel will be there at almost all crucial points and crossroads,” he said, adding from Thursday, the day of ‘Maha-Panchami’ till Monday ‘Maha-Nabami’, there are plans to raise the number of personnel.
Twenty-five Heavy Radio Flying Squads (HRFS) and 25 divisional mobile vans would be roaming around city roads to keep a vigil, during the festive days.
In addition, 46 watch towers would be there to keep a tab on the movements of the pandal hoppers, the IPS officer said, adding that 27 trauma care ambulances and two mobile vans to report missing persons would also be there.
The Force also has installed additional CCTVs as part of its security measures for the Durga Pujas.
“Around 73 extra CCTVs has been installed at important crossings and around prominent puja pandals as a part of close monitoring of the crowd movement,” the officer said.
Disaster management personnel will also be deployed with around 750 CCTVs already in place across the city.
Talking about vehicular movements during the celebrations in the city, a senior officer of the department said special arrangements have been made to ensure smooth traffic.
“Four deputy commissioners, 18 assistant commissioners, 700 sergeants, 1,000 NCC volunteers, 400 NGO volunteers and 500 temporary crowd controlling volunteers will be present on the roads.
“We have also chalked out a plan for handling the morning crowd. We will be providing updates related to traffic on radio channels as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Traffic control will be round the clock,” Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) V Solomon Nesa Kumar said.
The DC also said there will be strict vigilance against bikers without helmets or anyone found breaking road safety rules.
To help enthusiasts, Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Monday launched an Android-based-app named “Utsavapp”.
“The App will help people locate the nearest Durga puja pandal as well as the shortest route to get to it. The App contains emergency numbers and help people uploading information of child lost in the crowd along with the kid’s photographs,” he said.