Odisha Police Using AI Technology for Better Management of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

GG News Bureau
Bhubaneswar, 7th July. 
Odisha Police is implementing AI technology on a pilot basis to bolster traffic and crowd management during the upcoming Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, a senior police official announced. The Rath Yatra, celebrated as the Chariot Festival, holds deep historical significance alongside the ancient Jagannath Temple in Puri. This year marks a rare occurrence as the annual festival of Lord Jagannath will span two days, a deviation from its traditional single-day format after 53 years.

Additional Director General of Police (DGP) for Odisha, Dayal Gangwar, stated, “This is the first time, as a pilot project, we are utilizing AI-based CCTV coverage at approximately 40 key points equipped with CCTV cameras. We will integrate AI with our CCTV system to monitor and manage areas prone to congestion. Drones will also be deployed to identify blind spots and traffic bottlenecks. Additionally, drones equipped with a Public Address system will be used at identified congestion points to assist police personnel.”

President to Attend Rath Yatra in Puri on July 7

President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to witness the Rath Yatra in Puri on July 7, as confirmed by an official release from Rashtrapati Bhavan. Her visit to Odisha, scheduled from July 6 to 9, underscores the significance of this year’s extended Rath Yatra celebrations.

Special security measures have been arranged for the President’s visit, with designated VIP and buffer zones planned for dignitaries attending the festival, including the Odisha Governor, Chief Minister, Union Ministers, and other esteemed guests.

The Odisha government has made comprehensive arrangements to ensure the smooth execution of the festival, which traditionally unfolds in a single day. This year’s extension to two days, due to celestial alignments, marks a departure from the norm observed since 1971.

Rath Yatra 2024

In a departure from tradition, certain rituals involving Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra will be consolidated into a single day on Sunday. The chariots, stationed at the Jagannath Temple’s Lion’s Gate, await the devotees’ ceremonial pull towards the Gundicha Temple, where they will rest for a week. The Rath Yatra and associated rituals, including ‘Nabajouban Darshan’ and ‘Netra Utsav’, will be performed on July 7, culminating in the joyful pulling of the chariots by devotees.

‘Nabajouban Darshan’ signifies the deities’ rejuvenation after a 15-day ‘Anasara’ period, symbolizing their recovery following the ‘Snana Purnima’ ritual bathing. Preceding this, the ‘Netra Utsav’ ritual involves the painting of the deities’ eyes, a sacred tradition rooted in mythology.

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