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Queen's baton to reach Chandigarh by road

The Queen's baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which was supposed to arrive in Chandigarh by a flight from Jammu Thursday morning, is now undertaking a nearly 10-hour road journey to reach this union territory, an official said.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2010 12:46 IST

The Queen's baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which was supposed to arrive in Chandigarh by a flight from Jammu Thursday morning, is now undertaking a nearly 10-hour road journey to reach this union territory, an official said.

"The baton had to board a flight from Jammu to Chandigarh. But due to some security concerns in Srinagar, the programme was changed and it was finally decided to follow the road route," Priya Singh Paul, official spokesperson of Queen's Baton Relay said.

"Rest everything is going according to plan and there are no other complications," she added.

Pakistan's Olympic Association chief Syed Arif Hassan handed over the baton to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, who is also the chairman of the organising committee of Commonwealth Games-2010, at the Attari border June 25.

Elaborate security cover is now being provided to the baton by the Punjab Police while it is on its way to Chandigarh.

"The baton was earlier coming to Chandigarh by air from Jammu but on Wednesday late evening the officials concerned informed me that it was now coming by road. They requested me to arrange security for the baton on the route," Raja Sidhu, nodal officer of the IOA for the Queen's Baton Relay, said.

"I asked the Punjab Police chief to provide a proper escort to the baton when it passes through Punjab. It will travel through Pathankot, Hoshiarpur and Mohali before finally entering into Chandigarh," he added.

The baton will be in Hoshiarpur and Pathankot for the second time as it passed through them June 27.

"After entering Chandigarh, the baton will be straightaway taken to the Western Command headquarters at Chandimandir (in neighbouring Panchkula town)," Sidhu said.

"The baton will be officially received by the Chandigarh administration July 3 and it will move towards Una town (in Himachal Pradesh) in the wee hours of July 4," he added.

The baton travelled nearly 170,000 km through nearly 70 Commonwealth countries before arriving in host India for the Games October 3-14 in New Delhi.

By the end of its journey, the baton would have travelled over 190,000 km, through different modes of transport across land, air and sea, in 340 days. This will make the baton relay 2010 one of the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games is the biggest sporting extravaganza being hosted by India since the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi.