The district administration and the police are making arrangements to ensure a smooth passage for kanwar yatra, one of the largest pilgrimages in north India, that began on July 17. Over 1,000 police personnel will be deployed across the city so that kanwarias, who are expected to pass through the city from Saturday, do not affect traffic.
Groups of saffron-clad kanwarias, disciples of Lord Shiva, carrying Gangajal are expected to pass through Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and other routes on their way from Haridwar, Uttarakhand, to local shrines in Rajasthan and other parts of the country.
“We have deployed over 1,000 police personnel to ensure smooth passage of pilgrims on Gurgaon roads, particularly the expressway,” a traffic police spokesperson said.
The progress of the yatra will be monitored round the clock through CCTV cameras installed on the expressway, he said.
The pilgrims will be stationed in three dozen camps along the service roads across the city. The authorities expect three lakh pilgrims to pass through Delhi-NCR this year. The peak footfall is expected on the last three days of the pilgrimage later this month.
The Gurgaon administration has issued directives that the camps for pilgrims will be set up 100 metres from national highways and 50 metres from state highways. Besides, the administration has also declared Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that prohibits an assembly of more than 10 people.
The authorities have identified areas such as Sohna, Badshahpur, Shikohpur, Sehrawan and Bilaspur as sensitive spots.
Last August, a 65-year-old kanwariya died in a hit-and-run accident, after a speeding SUV hit him near Hero Honda Chowk on the expressway.
The state government has ordered all deputy commissioners and police superintendents to ensure safety of kanwarias. Also, the government will run mobile medical vehicles on routes taken by the kanwarias to provide them with health care services and emergency treatment.
While announcing this in Chandigarh, tourism minister Ram Bilas Sharma said Kanwarias are likely to face health problems because of fatigue and bad weather.