A day before the Kumbh Mela starts, fire broke out at a camp in Digambar Akhara at Prayagraj today. No one has been injured in the fire, said security officials present at the location.
The fire was brought under control within a few minutes, fire fighters told news agencies. Local reports suggest a cylinder blast led to the fire.
Around 10 ambulances and an air ambulance were immediately sent to the spot. “No casualties have been reported so far,” Nodal Officer, Disaster Management, Dr Rishi Sahay told news agency ANI
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“The fire has been contained and the area is being cleared now,” said a senior police officer present at the site. Fire engines and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are present at the site, making sure that the fire does not spread.
The Kumbh Mela is set to begin in Prayagraj, formerly called Allahabad, from January 15. Over 12 crore pilgrims are expected at the Kumbh Mela, described by the UNESCO as the the biggest “peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth.”
Apart from Prayagraj, Kumbh is also celebrated in Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
For the 2019 edition, the Yogi Adityanath-led government has allocated Rs 2,800 crore, Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Rana told reporters.
The Mela is being organised in an area of 3,200 hectares, double the area of the last Kumbh, said Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary, Information and Tourism in the Uttar Pradesh government.
(With inputs from IANS and ANI)