14 day long Kanwar mela begins in Haridwar
The fortnight-long kanwar mela kicked off on Tuesday with kanwariyas thronging the city to fetch Gangajal from the Brahmakund at Har-ki-Pauri.
While the mela begins on the first day (pratipada) of Savan, the Hindu calendar month, many pilgrims reach the city to collect Gangajal on Ashadh poornima, the Hindu month’s last day celebrated as Guru Poornima, a priest said.
As the turnout this year was expected to be higher than last year’s, the administration had made arrangements for the annual affair. The police administration has divided the mela area into six super zones, 24 zones and 95 sectors to effectively monitor traffic and security.
“Traffic and security arrangements have been put in place and efforts are being made to provide all necessary amenities to the kanwar pilgrims,” district administration officials said. “This year, the administration has to be even more careful keeping in view the state assembly elections due early next year,” a local leader said.
At a review meeting held on the eve of the mela, district magistrate Harbans Singh Chugh instructed officials of the PWD, hydel, jal sansthan, peyjal nigam, health, transport and other concerned departments to ensure that essential facilities were made available to kanwarias and no inconvenience was caused to them. The kanwar patri in rural areas should be properly cleaned by the zila panchayat and nagar nigams should do it in the urban areas, he said.