Fanfare & spectacle mark the opening of Bali Yatra
CUTTACK: Amid much fanfare, the historic Bali Yatra fair was inaugurated by revenue minister S.N Patra here on Thursday. On the occasion, a website specially designed to promote the annual maritime trade fair, Cuttackbaliyatra.com, was also launched.
The opening ceremony was marked with spectacular performances of renowned dance troupes of Odisha and neighbouring states. Hordes of people thronged to the fair to on the first day itself and relished the mouth watering food stuffs as thunka puri, dahi bara and alu dum. The amusement rides as giant wheel, Dragon, break dance provided a complete dose of entertainment to the revelers.
“The Bali Yatra provides a complete package of entertainment and we are having a blast here,”said Subhomoy Das, a reveler.Around 1328 stalls have been set up in the fair this year. Items ranging from traditional household items to latest electronic gadgets are available in this fair. A silver filigree pavilion showcasing the unique dexterity and craftsmanship of filigree artisans and a 35 foot high sand art are other major attractions of the baliyatra fair this year.
District officials expect around three lakh revelers on each day of the fair. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the police to avoid any untoward incident during the seven day long fair. Atleast 45 platoons of police force has been deployed at the fair ground, that sprawls over 37 acres of land. Along with it, platoons of Quick reaction team , Rapid Action Force(RAF) has also been deployed.Around four temporary fire stations and 20 police outpost have been erected at the fair ground .
“Adequate security measures have been taken to make the fair peaceful. We have built four watch towers to keep vigil on nook and cranny of the fair ground,” said a senior police official. “Police personnel have also been deployed in plain clothes to prevent chain snatching, pick-pocketing, eve-teasing and molestation cases,” he added.
Gandhi Shilpa Bazaar, showcasing the ethnic items prepared by the women self help groups of Odisha and neighbouring state is also drawing huge crowds.”The Bali Yatra provides us an opportunity to make good business. I have been participating in the fair for the past 10 years,”said Bula Rout, a trader participating in the fair.