They sang songs, shouted slogans and listened to speeches through the day, yet couldn’t find a dry spot to sit. The incessant rain on Friday failed to dampen the spirits of the people who had come to support the indefinite hunger strike called by the 73-year-old anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare.
However, as far as the arrangements on behalf of the land-owning agency was concerned, rain played havoc. While the land owning agency, the MCD, had promised the entire ground to the organisers, it could provide only half as the remaining half couldn’t be cleared. MCD officials said it would be difficult to level the remaining half if it rained again on Saturday.
The leveling exercise could not be carried out on Friday as the MCD staff that had worked through the night to level the ground had taken off on Friday. “We will start work from Saturday to make the remaining half available to them,” said a senior MCD official.
In the morning, the MCD set up suction pumps to pump out the water from the ground, forcing thousands of people to wade through ankle-deep waters to enter the Ramlila Maidan.
Also, to check mosquito breeding, the MCD carried out anti-larval treatment on the ground. “We will also carry out fogging in the evening,” said V K Monga, chairman, MCD’s Health Committee.
As it continued to rain through the day, 200 tonne of sand was brought in to dry the ground. “Close to 150 tonne of demolition and construction waste was brought in to level the other half,” said Yogender Chandolia, chairman of MCD’s Standing Committee. To take stock of the situation Mayor Rajni Abbi, also took round of the ground on Friday.