Yoga-ready Chandigarh holds its breath

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 20, 2016 12:40 IST
Participants during the rehearsal at Capitol Complex on Sunday. (Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

Several lessons were learnt during the Sunday rehearsal — that began at 4.30am and concluded at 8.15am — for the city’s big day on the national stage on the International Day of Yoga on June 21 with traffic jam due to buses emerging as an issue. More than 30,000 people were part of the rehearsal.

All 500 master trainers that the UT administration has selected to perform yoga at the Capitol Complex reported at the Sector-16 stadium at 4.30am. These were then sent to the main venue in buses that dropped them at the roundabout leading to the Tourism Information Centre in Sector 1. The master trainers have been assigned groups of 50 members with a deputy master trainer for assistance.

The 50 team members of each master trainer were picked from their designated centres and dropped at the Tourism Information Centre roundabout. The participants walked up to the Capitol Complex where they were given their mat numbers and also given directions to reach their designated mats.

Finally, yoga began and the majority of the participants were found to be in sync with each other. The rehearsal ended at 8.15am and saw participation of representatives of the ITBP, the defence forces, PU, the disabled, yoga foundations, school children and residents from training camps.


UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal said, “During and after the rehearsal, we have come to know the ground situation. We have decided to stagger the timings of buses. Those from the army, the air force, the ITBP, the Haryana police and the Punjab Police have now been asked to arrive at the Capitol Complex before 4am. We will also stagger the arrival of groups between 4am and 4.45am. They must reach the bus parking before 5am so that everybody can enter the venue before 6am.”

He added that the mats would be taped from below so that they do not slip. Refreshments will be served after the event with the Chandigarh market committee providing fruits. No one will be allowed to carry eatables.

A yoga expert claimed that the rehearsal felt like a rally and participants would have to get up as early as 3am to reach the designated spots by 4am. When the time for yoga comes, participants would be tired, he claimed.

Haryana governor and Punjab and UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki presided over the rehearsal. The rehearsal was reviewed by Ayush secretary Ajit M Sharan; adviser Parimal Rai, home secretary Anurag Agarwal; finance secretary Sarvjit Singh, DC-cumnodal officer, International Day of Yoga Ajit Balaji Joshi; SDM Kriti Garg and the Special Protection Group (SPG) team.


Almost all bhawans and budget hotels in Chandigarh are full. The UT Guest House is also full for two days. VVIPs from outside will stay at Hotel Mountview and Hotel Shivalikview.


Lack of co-ordination while boarding buses. The participants were called to the Sector-16 stadium and were to board buses but there was confusion over which bus to be boarded by which participant.

Yoga mats were found to blowing away due to the strong wind.

Traffic congestion due to movement of all buses together.

Protocol yoga started late after 7.20am. As a result, participants could not avoid the blazing sun.

Haryana health minister Anil Vij also reviewed arrangements.


Around 100 LEDs have been displayed at various spots for live relay of the happenings from the Capitol Complex. Videography of all the venues shall be done. The best yoga performers shall be felicitated with prizes, rest of the best performing participants shall get certificates along with T shirts. The administration has also decided to organise a video contest wherein participants can capture their video while performing yoga protocol and send the same to the following links or Instagram or tweet with twitter handle IYDCHD2016. The first, second and third prize winners will get Rs 10,000, Rs 8,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively. The videos can be uploaded till 5pm on June 21.


4,000 paramilitary and 3,000 Chandigarh Police personnel will be deployed for the event. Police have formed three alternative routes for the VVIPs visit to the city on Tuesday. All parking lots within 200 metre of Capitol Complex to be closed. Any gathering of more than five people has been prohibited in and around Raj Bhawan.

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