By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 24: Some pilgrims at the camp at Kamakhya station for the ongoing Ambubachi Mela are not rest assured that there is no laxity of security at the camp.
The station where the camp is situated is seen teeming with a lot of local people and others. Devotees come by train from various places and stay at the station and its nearby areas. Though the district administration has spread a big tent for devotees, it is not sufficient for them as their number increases with the arrival of every train. Since the station is the main entrance for outside devotees, a lot of people gather there every day.
The authority has made registration of devotees mandatory at that camp, but there are many devotees who do not get them registered for various reasons. A devotee from upper Assam said: "We came to this camp on the night of June 22, and we're staying put here. Nobody told me about the registration procedure, and hence we haven't registered our mes. Now we have decided to go to the camp at Soram HS School field as there is no checking of the incoming and outgoing people to and from this camp. We had to sleep very carefully last night."
Another devotee came from Basinpur of West Bengal said: "The toilets are separate for males and females, but often people break rules and create problem during morning time. The basins were given for fresh up of the devotees but those we can not use now, because of dirt. So we are now using the station's use and pay toilet."
Another devotee staying at the camp said: "There was only one bhandara till June 22 which was not enough. Another bhandara opened on June 22. Still we have to queue up many times for food. Two bhandaras aren't enough for 6,000 devotees in this camp. Many devotees have to wait and at last they had to stay without food. There is no boundary or gate at the camp. Many outsiders come, take food and smoke at the camp. The number of security guards is also not adequate."
The in charge of Kamakhya station camp registration counter, Abhijit Gogoi, said: "Till this afternoon, the number of devotees has rose to 6,000, and it is going up."
Meanwhile, the situation at Sorm HS School playground is much better. Though the number of devotees is increasing every day those manning the camp are successful in taking care of devotees. "We can accommodate more devotees in this camp. We still have enough room," said a member of the committee. The member said: "There are 130 toilets and over 60 bathrooms in the camp. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has provided separate teams of 40 workers for the cleaning of the bathroom and toilets only. They are also fogging in the evening in the camp and spreading bleaching powder everywhere in the cleaning. There are separate camps and bathrooms for male and female devotees in the camp."
An official from the PHE department said: "We have arranged packaged drinking water and continuous filtered water for the devotees. Till now, 16,000 water pouches have been used in the camp."
A devotee said: "We feel cozy with the service here. There is a secured security setup. Nobody is allowed to enter the campus with bhang or anything else of that sorts. We're getting free medical check-up and medicines." Meanwhile, Guwahati Sahani Kayaria, an NGO, has set up a bhandara for devotees near Kamakhya Gate where, according to the NGO, around 13,000 devotees had meal so far.