As scenic cricket stadium is decked for Indian Premier League matches, the long list of VIP’s expected to arrive for the mega cricket event has put the administration on its toes, with scarcity of accommodation adding to the woes.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has extended invitation to political leaders within and outside the state. HPCA, President , Anurag Thakur, Lok Sabha, member from Hamirpur has also sent an invite to top brass of the party, including party chief Nitin Gadkari, Leader of opposition Shushma Swaraj, BJP’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitely and Gujarat Chief Minister Narinder Modi.
HPCA, President Anurag Thakur told Hindustan Times that few of the leaders are likely to arrive for the first mega cricketing event being hosted in the hill town. “Though many of the prominent leaders figuring in the list of invitees may not be able to come since the parliament is in session” says Anurag Thakur who on Thursday remained busy to check last minute preparations for the IPL match beginning on Friday. BJP’s national President Nitin Gadkari is unlikely to attend the match due to his busy schedule.
Apart from this, the HPCA has also extended invite to the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, and Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh. Both ministers who hail from Himachal Pradesh have yet not confirmed to attend the IPL matches.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and co- owner of Kings XI, Punjab is expected to arrive in the hill town on Friday evening by a special flight from New Delhi.
District Administration has been caught in piquant situation due to other VIP’s visiting the town on April 16 and 18th. Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court Justice Kurian Joseph and Punjab and Haryana high court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal would be amongst the VVIP guest for the IPL match. Other judges of Himachal Pradesh high court, Justice Rajeev Sharma, Justice, V.K Ahuja, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol have confirmed to come, HPCA officials confirmed.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who will inaugurate April 16th matches being played between Kings XI, Punjab and Deccan chargers. Dhumal would arrive at the stadium along with his cabinet colleagues’ ad other BJP leaders. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who happens to be father of HPCA President Anurag Thakur had taken personal interest to facilitate the IPL matches. The government t had released an additional grant for Rs 3 crore to spruce up the town. Chief Minister said that IPL will go long way in promoting the tourism in the Kangra valley, as the event will bring the Dharamsala on the international tourist map.
The long list of VVIP’s for the IPL matches has certainly increased worries for the local administration, since it has to arrange accommodation and security. With all the major hotels in the town being booked in advance by the HPCA and Kings XI Punjab, the administration found it difficult to arranged well furnished rooms for the VIP guest. “ With some difficulty we have managed to arrange rooms for the VIP’s ‘ said Deputy Commissioner Kangra. The town has total 123 registered hotels and guest houses which has a bed capacity of 4000 beds. Those not booked by the HPCA have already booked in advance. But many hotels in the nearby towns of Chamunda, Kangra, Shahpur and Palampur were still vacant and the cricket lovers have started to book these hotels. In the wake of heavy rush expected for the IPL match, the police has deouted more than 1200 police personnel apart from unleashing band of spies to keep check on anti-social elements.