Sagar Island (WB), Jan 13 (PTI) The Shankarcharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati today welcomed the demand of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the annual Ganga Sagar Mela should be treated at par with Kumbh Mela.

“I thank and welcome the demand of West Bengal chief minister that Ganga Sagar Mela should be treated at par with Kumbh Mela,” Saraswati told reporters here.

Banerjee has said recently that the Ganga Sagar mela is being held for ages and pilgrims throng the place in large number for many years, so it should be given the status of the Kumbh Mela.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas Y Ratnakar Rao today said four pilgrims who had come to attend the mela died due to severe cold in the Sagar island.

The DM said lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country have already arrived in the Sagar island to take a holy dip.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.