Bid to make Machhindranath festival a safe affair

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, April 10:

Patan denizens, this time, have focused to make the chariot procession of Machhindranath safer and more disciplined by introducing new rules and taking precautionary measures.

The festival that lasts for more than a month left a bitter experience last year when

numerous accidents occurred during the course of the chariot procession.

The constructors are usually blamed for their negligence in chariot making though different factors cause accidents. Dil Ram Barahi has been leading a construction team. He inherited the leadership 26 years ago.

The construction has already started at the inner courtyard of Machhindrabahal and the Guthi Sansthan has provided them with necessary woods. Barahi said: “We have to keep aside our works and devote time to make chariot. We train younger generation though they are into other occupations. We build the chariot with great respect and do it after going through rituals. But the pullers also have to deal with same respect and discipline.”

Last year the chariot toppled at Sundhara, injuring eight people and damaging the chariot scattering the idol of Machhindranath on the ground. This bitter experience led officials concerned to take precautionary measures this time.

Spokesperson for the Laltipur Sub-Metropolitan City said the District Administration Office and Guthi Sansthan have provided funds for taking precautionary measures during the procession. At a meeting on April 6, DAO and the sub-metropolis decided to check the condition of streets before the procession. Former president of the Jyapu Samaj, Kulal Maharjan, said the society has decided to coordinate the jatra.

The organisers have decided to set a time limit for the procession, which will be managed by volunteers. Hari Prasad Joshi of the Guthi Sansthan said: “Pulling the chariot along narrow streets is risky.”