Prayagraj will host Maha Kumbh mela, held once every 12 years, will take place on the banks of Sangam, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers, consider holy by the millions who will descend on the city of Prayagraj.
The 365 sq.km city of Uttar Pradesh will play host to an expect 400 million pilgrims, saints and tourists for 45 days starting with the Paush Purnima bathing festival on 13th January, 2025 and concluding with the Mahashivratri bathing ritual on 26th February, 2025.
Most of the visitors would be staying and spending of their time around Sangam for which a mega tent city and also the largest temporary city in the world will be set up across a sprawling 4,000 hectares spread between Sangam, Arail and Phaphamau and divide into 25 sectors.
To facilitate the seamless movement of pilgrims and visitors, 25 pontoon bridges would also be construct.
The tent city would have its own police stations, fire stations, hospitals, ration shops, small markets, entertainment zones, ambulance services, train reservation counters and many other facilities.
Prayagraj Mela Authority, a body set up by the state government for organising the once-in-12-year Mahakumbh Mela, once-in-6-year Kumbh Mela and the annual Magh Mela is at the centre of the ongoing preparations.
While the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will build a 65-km Prayagraj Ring Road in three phases.
Other roadworks include a Prayagraj-Ayodhya bypass and a Prayagraj-Banda bypass near Jasra as well the widening of the Prayagraj-Lucknow highway will also be carry out.
The Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) will construct a 10 km 6-lane bridge over the Ganga River, joining Stanley road of Sangam city with Malak Harhar crossing on the Lucknow-Pratapgarh-Prayagraj highway at a cost of around Rs, 2,300 by October, 2024.
A total of 17 roads over bridges (ROB), and the widening and beautification of over 150 roads also form part of the plan.
Some like Bakshi Bandh ROB have already open to the public.
Most are expect to be complete by October 2024.
Renovation of Ghats
UP government will spend Rs. 94.49 crore to remodel pakka ghats and Rs, 231.67 crores on riverfront roads.
The Dashashwamedh Ghat on the banks of the Ganga at Daraganj substantially reduces the pressure from the main Sangam area as a large number of devotees and pilgrims use this area.
It will be made into a pakka ghat near the Beni Madhav Mandir.
The Qila ghat on Yamuna is also going to be convert into a pakka ghat, and a new concrete ghat will come near Saraswati Ghat at river Yamuna, where water sports facilities will be available at the boat club beside river Yamuna.
The Rasoolabad Ghat will be extend and a concrete ghat will be construct in front of Gyan Ganga Ashram downstream from Ganga.
Pakka ghats are also being construct at Mahewa, in front of the Bhairav temple and Naukayan Ghat.
Corridors for Temples
Projects under the temple infrastructure upgradation include most of the temples frequented by pilgrims.
In which four major corridors will come up:
- Akshayavat-Patalpuri-Saraswati Koop corridor,
- Bade Hanuman Mandir corridor,
- Bhardwaj Park corridor,
- Dwadash Madhav Mandir corridor.
The other temples cover in the development initiative include Nagvasuki temple, Padila Mahadev temple, Alopshankari temple, Mankameshwar and Koteshwar Mahadev temples among many others.
A state-level high-power committee set up under the state chief secretary is overseeing all work pertaining to the Maha Kumbh.
This panel has approve 321 projects worth over Rs. 4,600 crore, almost all of which are still underway.
Tech Equipped Toilets
Under the Swachh Kumbh initiatives, 145,000 temporary toilets will be set up in the Mela area, 15,000 sanitation workers will be get jobs.
A waste transfer station will come up in every sector of the tent city.
An effective door-to-door waste collection system in the 100 wards of Prayagraj municipal limits is also being created, while 9 sewage treatment plants, three are being upgrade to deal with additional waste that would get generated.
Safe from Pollution
To prevent untreat waste from falling into Ganga and Yamuna before the effluents are treat, is also part of the plan.
The city has 81 major drains catering to 277.38 MLD (million litres per day) waste generate by the city.
5 do not need tapping and 37 have already tap.
Of the 39 untapped ones, 22 are being tap with funds from National Mission for Clean Ganga and the remaining 17 are being tap with Mahakumbh-2025 funds.
There is also a plans to operate 150 e-buses and 100 new regular buses by UP State Roadways Transport Corporation, Indian Railways are also busy redeveloping the Prayagraj junction to cater to the rush of visitors.
As part of the redevelopment plan, more amenities are being add to the junction and the circulating area on the side of the Civil Lines is being develop for smoother movement of large number of passengers.
The track gets double work between Prayagraj and Varanasi is also well underway, which would improve train operations between these two important destinations.
Almost all major satellite stations of Prayagraj including Subedarganj, Cheoki, Naini, Jhansi, Rambagh, Prayag and Phaphamau are being develop with additional entry points, better circulation areas and improve approach roads.
These small stations are key, as during Mahakumbh, special trains for pilgrims are operate from Prayagraj.
Colour Coding of Tickets
North Central Railway (NCR) has come up with a colour coding system to mitigate the problem of overcrowding.
Colour stickers will be put on the reverse side of tickets to indicate the direction in which the passenger will travel.
This will help passengers reach the exact holding area and the designate platform.
The railways had construct four holding areas in 2019 and these have paint red, blue, yellow and green for each of the 4 directions in which the devotees will travel this time.
The colour coding method is already in use in the ongoing Magh Mela-2024.
UP government has allocate Rs. 5,621 crore over the past 3 years.
The latest Rs. 2,600 crore including Rs. 100 crore for cultural promotions in the run-up to the fair was announce in the budget on 5th February, 2024.
The last Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj which took place in 2019, cost the state Rs. 4,236 crore, more than 250 million visited.
Yogi Adityanath visited the Sangam area on 27th December, 2023, and also chair a review meeting with top officials.
UP CM order that drones should be use to increase surveillance and ensure crowd management and ask officials to leave no stone unturn to ensure the security of all visitors.