41 projects at a cost of Rs 7 billion for the Kumbh Mela, which will begin in January 2019 in Prayagraj, has been reportedly commissioned by the Indian Railways. Of the 41 projects, 29 have already been completed, while the remaining 12 are at an advanced stage and are expected to be completed shortly.
To house nearly 10,000 pilgrims, four big passenger enclosures have been constructed at the Prayagraj railway station. The enclosures are expected to have vending stalls, water booths, ticket counters, LCD TVs, CCTVs and separate toilet blocks for men and women. On the same line, few more passenger enclosures will be reportedly set up at other stations.
Besides, 800 special trains, in addition to the regular ones that are run by the North Central Railways, are proposed to run during the religious event from various stations of Prayagraj district for the pilgrims. Four to five special trains transporting 5,000 Pravasi Bhartiyas from Prayagraj to New Delhi has been reportedly planned to operate. In order to tackle the rush of passengers, the railways is expected to use technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). While IBM is expected to provide video analytics service using artificial intelligence for crowd control, a large number of powerful CCTV cameras to monitor the situation and LED screens for displaying information are expected to be set up.
The railways has also allowed 15 days of advanced booking and is preparing to handle around 33-35 lakh pilgrims to Prayagraj during the six days of the holy bath during the mela.