The upcoming 146th edition of the revered Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, scheduled for June 20, will witness the deployment of advanced security measures, including 3D mapping technology and an anti-drone system. This move aims to ensure a safe and incident-free procession, according to a senior police official.
Commissioner of Ahmedabad Police, Prem Vir Singh, announced on Sunday that the Rath Yatra will witness the utilization of 3D mapping technology along the entire route, with special emphasis on strategic points. This marks the first-ever implementation of such technology in Gujarat’s Rath Yatra, enabling improved visualization and information acquisition for law enforcement officials.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel conducted a review of the police preparedness for the Rath Yatra. He suggested that the 3D mapping technology be considered for future yatras as well.
Patel urged the cybercrime team and the crime branch to remain vigilant against the spread of false rumors related to the Rath Yatra through social media or messaging platforms. Additionally, he stressed the need for strict action against those involved in the sale of prepaid SIM cards without proper identity verification.
Harsh Sanghavi, Minister of State for Home highlighted the significance of this initiative, stating that it will safeguard against the misuse of drones during the Rath Yatra. Also, he emphasized that Yatra will witness 198 ratha yatras across the state, with the main procession in Ahmedabad accompanied by six smaller yatras from different areas.
The security arrangements for the procession are extensive, with a heavy deployment of personnel along the 20-kilometre route. A total of 198 rath yatras will be conducted across the state, including six smaller processions in Ahmedabad alone. To enhance monitoring capabilities, 2,322 body-worn cameras and 25 vehicles equipped with CCTV and GPS systems will be utilized. Additionally, as a preventive measure against unauthorized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), an anti-drone mechanism will be deployed.
The security personnel, numbering 26,091, will include members from the police and paramilitary units. They will be supported by a live feed from 94 strategically positioned CCTV cameras at 45 locations.
Officials also undertook area familiarization patrols to acquaint police officers with the Rath Yatra route. Drone surveillance flights were conducted, amounting to 32 flights, to monitor sensitive areas. Furthermore, 250 points and 25 watch towers have been established to ensure effective monitoring of critical zones.
In an effort to promote a harmonious atmosphere during the Rath Yatra, the police have organized various activities, including sarvadharm (all-faith) blood donation camps, cricket tournaments, and peace committee meetings.
With over 26,000 security personnel, including paramilitary forces, being deployed for the Ahmedabad Rath Yatra, the event’s security apparatus will be further strengthened by the presence of 94 CCTV cameras and the use of 2,322 body-worn cameras. These measures will provide instant details and ensure comprehensive surveillance throughout the yatra.
The implementation of area familiarization patrols, drone surveillance flights, and the establishment of 250 dhaba points and 25 watch towers will contribute to enhanced security. Additionally, the introduction of anti-drone technology for the first time will prevent any unauthorized drone activities during the Rath Yatra.
The police’s efforts to foster a celebratory and inclusive atmosphere have been noteworthy, as exemplified by the organization of interfaith blood donation camps, cricket tournaments, peace committee meetings, and neighbourhood committee gatherings.
The deployment of more than 25,000 security personnel, including officers of various ranks, underscores the magnitude of the security arrangements for the Rath Yatra. This comprehensive arrangement, involving over 15 departments, sets a commendable example at the national level.