Ahmedabad: As the city gears up for 141st Rath Yatra celebrations on July 14, the Ahmedabad Police have been on their feet since a fortnight in ensuring the security arrangements are in place to provide a safe passage of the procession and no untoward incident happens in the city during the celebrations. About 20,200 security personnel consisting of policemen from Gujarat and other states, including the state reserve police and paramilitary forces are to be deployed at strategic points across the 18-kilometre route of the Rath Yatra.

In a first, the bomb-disposal squad had on Thursday checked the gutter-lines falling in the 14-kilometres of the 18-kilometre long route of the Rath Yatra. The squad checked more than 40 gutters on the route, as the police are leaving no stone unturned in the strong security bandobast across the city. On Wednesday, the city police had also issued an advisory to the citizens on the change in routes and the ones they should avoid traffic bottlenecks.

Though the police officials are not willing to comment on the reason behind the checking of cutters by the bomb-disposal squads, it is believed that the cops were acting on intelligence inputs from the IB (Intelligence Bureau). Other than that, a helium balloon of Israeli make with a high-resolution camera will be keeping a hawk-eye on the procession from a height of about 250 metres, covering a radius of 5 kilometres. Additionally, 150 CCTV cameras too have been installed at various points on the Rath Yatra route. This balloon will be operated from a special control room set up to monitor the movement of the procession.

This year’s procession of the Rath Yatra would comprise 18 decorated elephants, 101 trucks with tableaux, 30 religious congregations, 18 singing troupes and three chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balram and sister Subhadra.

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