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Government Starts Preparation for Kumbh Mela

Government starts preparation for Kumbh Mela in Haridwar

Crowds, or even the possibility of one, may be anathema everywhere but in January 2021 the government started preparing for Maha Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. The gathering has a long tradition and attracts huge crowds from around the world, who come to the Ganga to take a ritualistic swim. A meeting on April 16, organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the river cleaning body of the Water Ministry, addressed the funds that the Uttarakhand government would need to provide community toilets and urinals for the attendants. The Maha Kumbh Mela is organised once in 12 years, and the last time the event was held in 2010, about 10 million had reportedly congregated in the city.

The State has requested from the NMCG to build 16,075 community toilets (which are made of fiber and portable) and 20,000 community urinals for the organization of the event. Nonetheless, the NMCG Executive Committee deferred a decision on the grounds that some other components of the plan — making arrangements for dustbins and solid waste management — had not yet been included, and that a decision on the project would be taken at the next meeting, according to a record of the meeting minutes. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, NMCG's managing director, did not respond to a request for comment.

The meeting was convened via video-conference, as is now the standard in the country, and had officials from the NMCG, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand, and is held monthly to decide on funding for projects to clean up the Ganga as well as its tributaries.

A participant at the meeting told The Hindu that there was no discussion with Uttarakhand as to whether organizing the Kumbh Mela would be free, given that the world has yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and that the global count of cases continues to rise. "There was no debate as to whether COVID-19 would affect the Kumbh organisation. But there is plenty of time left and that could change the situation. If there is still as much danger as there is now, I am sure it will take action, "the individual said. Given the scale of the case, however, planning logistics beforehand was par for the course. In 2019 a similar Kumbh was organized at Prayagraj.

Since it is a novel coronavirus, there's little clarification as to whether the virus will remain as infectious in winter. The first virus records appeared in late November in China.

Courtesy By The Hindu, Dated on 29th April 2020

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