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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Gangasagar (WB) | Jan 15, 2023:: Puri Govardhan Math Shankaracharya, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati Maharaj has endorsed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata banerjee’s demand for the status of Gangasagar Mela as a National fair. WB CM Mamata Banerjee has already requested the Central Government to give the status of national fair to gangasagar Mela. Meanwhile, more than 40 lakhs pilgrims have reached in this year in Gangasagar Mela from January 5 to January 14, as informed by the Mela officials. The total pilgrims will cross 50 lakhs this year in the next couple hours in January 15 as estimated.
Mentioning the Joshi Math disaster, Shankaracharya of Puri said that the development of civilization by breaking the mountains, obstructing the river and endangering the environments is not right. The word development means development of persons and nature. There should not be exploitation of nature and disturbing the eco-system in the name of development.
The Puri seer said that if you do not do anything, do not make reckless blasts in the name of development. Then nature will reward the all adversities. But according to him the current situation of Joshimath is not the time for ridicule and criticism. What the government is doing now should be supported. Shankaracharya said, “I myself have studied science. But I also have a special interest in philosophy. Exploding in the name of development is not science. I would suggest a balance. Mentioning how important it is to maintain this balance, he raised the topic of Covid. He said, “We are polluting the water. We have made the air poisonous. In this way God’s creation is being destroyed every moment. Due to this, the situation of China, Japan and America has already been exposed before Corona. Due to Corona, ancient Indian fresh air of practices has come back all over the world. It has been said long back in our Hindu scriptures that without washing hands, don’t eat food. Corona returned all those practices again”.
WB State minister Arup Biswas, addressing a press conference, said, “14,000 policemen have been deployed for the security of the pilgrims. Barricades, police camps have been set up. Civil Defense, NDRF is deployed. Apart from India, people have also come from abroad. Apart from Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, various languages are being announced for the ease of the devotees and pilgrims. GPS tracking of every vehicle is engaged. Monitoring is being done from mega control room. 21 giant screens have been installed in the fair. Plastic exchange program has been taken to make the fair environment friendly and broad arrangements have bben made to felicitate the pilgrims all around”.
According to latest reports, more than 40 lakh devotees and pilgrims have reached from 5 to 14 January. 10 lakh people visited the Mela website through online and placed their booking for ePrasad. Various Social Welfare Organisations, Clubs, Societies, Ashrams, Missions, Maths and Akhadas have joined hands to make this Gangasagar Mela a grand success.
It is told that that there is an arrangement of insurance of 5 lakhs for those who come to the fair on January 8-17. Three sick pilgrims have been admitted to MR Bangur by air ambulance. One person from Maharashtra aged 75 died of heart attack. There have been 12 incidents of pick-pocketing. The stolen amount of around 30 thousand has been recovered. 29 people have been arrested for various anti-social acts. The auspicious time of Makar Snan is slated from 14 January 6.53 pm to 15 January 6.53 pm. This time Gangasagar Mela will break all the records of footfall as estimated. 30 highlight towers have been installed. Fire Minister Sujit Bose said that 11 temporary fire stations, 300 hydrants, 50 motorcycle fire extinguishers, 11 pump houses and 10 tenders along with 200 firemen have been deployed in Gangasagar.
As per schedule , His Holiness Puri Shankarachaya conducted a press conference in his Mela Shibir (tent houses) on January 13 in the 11 of morning, hold a Dharma Sabha in the afternoon and performed mass Ganga Aarti on 14th January evening.