With the annual fair at Garh Mukteshwar set to begin on Thursday, the UP Zila Panchayat officials are a worried lot. To be held along the banks of river Ganga, the organisers of the fair are reeling under severe financial crunch.
According to official sources, the annual fair is the second-largest gathering of devotees after the ‘Maha Kumbh' in the state. Around 30 lakh devotees gathered at the fair last year.
Every year, more than 6 km of area could be seen converted into a city of tents with devotees flocking from neighbouring states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
However, Garh Mukteshwar still does not appear anywhere in the list of state fairs. In such a case, basic arrangements for drinking water, health, lighting, sanitation and other basic facilities suffer. Even the land for organising the fair is donated by local farmers.
Due to the lack of proper disposal of garbage, the Ramsar site area and house for the endangered Gangetic dolphins remain under threat of contamination.
The fair is organised by Zila Panchayat, with the help of local administration departments.