Tens of thousands throng the Ganges (Lead)

January 14th, 2012 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Sagar Island (West Bengal), Jan 14 (IANS) Tens of thousands Saturday packed the Sagar Island in West Bengal to take a dip in the Ganges on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

“As there is no Kumbh Mela this year, the number of pilgrims is likely to increase,” South 24-Parganas district magistrate N.S. Nigam said.

About 150 km from Kolkata, the island is considered sacred by Hindus who gather here on Makar Sankranti, which is annually celebrated Jan 14, for a holy dip. People offer coconuts at the Kapil Muni temple.

A three-layered security arrangement has been made with 14 hovercrafts already at hand and helicopters to be deployed to keep a vigil. Over 6,000 security personnel are on duty, Nigam said.

Buses, boats and taxis have been arranged to transport the devotees. They will get drinking water in pouches free of cost. A thousand temporary and one mobile toilet have been be provided.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has deputed four ministers are at the island supervising the arrangements.

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