Grand success of Simhastha Kumbh 2015 at Nashik and Trimbakeshwar is a success story of Government Management—managing the biggest public event smoothly with micro planning. This time around, State BJP Government headed by Devendra Fadanavis displayed what a government planning should be actually like. The performance was led on ground by Kumbh Minister Girish Mahajan. For this achievement he was felicitated in the State Cabinet meeting on 30th September. Perhaps this is the first such felicitation in the State Cabinet. Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis freely praised Girish Mahajan’s efforts in planning and his leadership. Nashik witnessed an entire new set of top officials taking realm just 8 to 10 months before the world’s biggest religious and spiritual event. District Collector and District Magistrate Deependra Singh Kushwah, Nashik Municipal Commissioner Pravin Gedam, Nashik City Police Commissioner S Jagannathan, Nashik Rural Police Superintendent Sanjay Mohite and Mela Officer Mahesh Patil along with their team, did their best to micro-plan the event and implement it on ground. The District Information Office headed by Dr Kiran Moghe also did its best by providing proper information to the public in time.
Not a Single Untoward Incident
The Kumbh Mela in Nashik has been recorded as the biggest religious and spiritual event over the time. But a globally recognised western university has gone on record stating that the management of Kumbh Mela at Nashik this time was even better than the management of FIFA World Cup Soccer games, considered as the biggest sports event in the western world.
It’s really a proud moment for the people of Maharashtra and the nation that not a single untoward incident took place during this mega event. Around one crore eighty lakh people gathered in Nashik City on each of the Holy dates to take a holy dip—Pavitra Snan—in the River Godavari. The pilgrims along with Sadhus (monks) from all over Bharat and also from abroad, made it a point to maintain the cleanliness, planned organisation of events and strict implementation of code of conduct by the district administration.
There were incidents of stampedes in the previous Kumbh Melas. This time the District administration studied in detail all the previous cases of Kumbh Melas before planning for the current one. The study and eventual micro-planning bore fruits. There were various aspects of micro planning — roads were marked for particular movements and were notified to public, proper communication with the public , using public address systems controlled from Police Control Room, big video walls across the town, radio announcement systems on city buses, proper use of GPS technology by various departments, medical care system properly in place, trained public volunteers working for various departments and independent RSS volunteers’ network supporting community initiatives at various levels are the key areas to point at which made the event more secure and incidence-free.
The Digital Edge and Co-ordination
This Kumbh has to be marked for proper use of digital technology for crowd management. Right from extra trolley mounted cellular towers and ping counts to CCTVs across the city and Trimbak supported with high-end software to analyse the crowd movements and monitor suspicious activity, Digitally enabled control rooms, GPS enabled and radio connected buses and ambulances, properly rehearsed activity plans, Mobile apps and websites to interactively inform the public are some of the digital measures used this time in managing Kumbh Mela event.Also, the well managed co-ordination between various departments— health care, disaster management, traffic including railways and public transport, police, municipality and rural administration were implemented smoothly. Railways, probably for the first time, co-ordinated with the District and Municipal administration to sync their services and amenities for Kumbh.
Despite the fact that the visit by the pilgrims crossed the total number of five crore, the result was so overwhelming that not a single mishap took place. Not a single person got lost. Even after the Kumbh the city and river are cleaner than ever. No deadly deceases. Girish Mahajan, the Kumbh Minister, truly deserved the felicitation in the State Cabinet meeting. Rajesh Prabhu Salgaonkar