With over 4 lakh footfall expected in the next few days, the authorities have deployed over 3,000 personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the annual Ambubachi mela held in the congested Kamkhya temple township atop the Nilachal Hills here.
Crowd management at the fair is a challenge due to the hilly location with no flat space for the devotees to spread out. Thousands of pilgrims come from all over the country as well as Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan to take part in the weeklong fair.
“Luckily, the temple and the township around it was so designed that people are bound to form queues through the narrow passages in order to reach the sanctum sanctorum. But despite that, we have tried to spread out the devotees to three locations on the plains below, which can accommodate about 40,000 people at any given time in temporary camps,” said Ashutosh Agnihotri, Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) district, who is also the administrative head of the Kamakhya temple management.