The sheer magnitude of the crowds at the Kumbh Mela and the scale of the vast temporary city are
truly difficult to comprehend. So here are a few facts and figures to put things into perspective:
And from previous Melas:
- With an overall budget of around 1,35 billion rupees (around 2 million pounds), the Kumbh colony is set
up on around 4000 acres, three quarters of which are for camping grounds. (Already 400, 000 tents have
been repaired for the site).
- In order to ease access to the site, 61 new roads have been built at a cost of 167 millions rupees.
- To keep numbers of up to 30 million as comfortable as possible there are
250 km of water pipes in the colony to carry 54 million litres of chlorinated
- The Mela colony will be supplied with 25 megawatts of power to feed
20,000 street lights and 135, 000 electricity connections and 50,000 electricity poles.
- There will also be the 75,000 trench latrines and toilets and 20 million litres of sewage water
to deal with.
- 140 insecticide flogging machines have been hired for a fly free festival.
- To help keep peace and order the Mela will have 28 police stations with a 20,000 strong force,
18,000 of which will be traffic police. There will be 150 mounted police and 257 policewomen and along
the Ganges, 500 boats will be manned by 1000 river policemen. The police will also manage five lost and
found centres that will project images of lost children onto massive screens around the site.
- Along with the police, the Army is acting to prevent sabotage and check terrorist activities.
Sixteen anti-sabotage teams will be functioning in the area, with 10 teams for mine detection and an 800-
strong anti-terrorist police squad.
- Police Administration will be divided into Police Substations and Police Outposts and Barriers.
The Mela area is divided into 40 sectors and each Mela Sector will have a Deputy Superintendent in
charge of managing traffic security, order and crime prevention for that sector. The main areas:
Sangam Area, Parade Area, Arail Area, Jhunsi Area and Traffic Control room will also have an Assistant
- The movement of the crowd will be monitored on Closed Circuit Television screened in the Control
room. Hundreds of Traffic Direction Towers will also be set up along the procession paths to guide the
rush of pilgrims.
- Fire Services will provide one Fire Station with each of the 28 Police Stations to deal with any
accidents from the millions of stoves and fires. To keep watch on the fire breakout there will be
Fire Watch Towers manned 24 hours a day.
- The Mela site will also have its own 100-bed hospital and 15 30-bed hospitals.
Though completion dates are tight, the Kumbh Mela will be as prepared as it can be, learning from the
problems in previous years:
- In 1989, over 3,000 people were reported lost, and more than 250 children were never
reunited with their families.
- In 1954, tragedy struck. Panic broke out in 1954 and 300 people were trampled to death.