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Chandigarh: Breathtaking acrobatic feats enthral hundreds at Sukhna Lake air show

Due to bad weather, Surya Kiran, the aerobatics demonstration team of the Indian Air Force, could not present its performance during the air show at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake
Indian Air Force’s Rafale aircraft performing acrobatics during an air show at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Updated on Sep 23, 2021 05:36 AM IST
By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh

Hundreds of visitors who thronged the Sukhna Lake here on Wednesday were enthralled by the Indian Air Force’s newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft.

The Chinook heavy-lift helicopter airlifted heavy underslung loads as well as inducted special forces for offensive operations showing its versatility in war and peace time.

Due to bad weather, however, the display of Surya Kiran, the aerobatics demonstration team of the Indian Air Force (IAF), was not carried out.

The air show was organised by the Chandigarh Air Force Station in association with the UT administration to mark Swarnim Vijay Diwas of the 1971 War. The event also coincided with the celebration of the diamond jubilee year of the air force station, which was established in 1961.

Punjab governor Banwari Lal Purohit, Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Himachal Pradesh governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, and chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court Ravi Shankar Jha attended the event.

Although the organisers had asked visitors to maintain social distancing, protocols went for a toss amid crowding at the venue.

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Mismanagement galore

The programme started at 4.30pm, but viewers started gathering at the lake around 2pm. Amid tight security arrangements, there was only one main entry point to the venue through the Kishangarh road.

People were being stopped by the Chandigarh Police by putting up barricades on all sides leading up to the lake. They were asked to go through the back-end of the lake going towards Kishangarh.

With no arrangements for car parking, residents parked their cars on cycle tracks, road berms and even on the roads. Long queues of cars parked on the roadside stretched from Sector 7 to Kishangarh-Manimajra light point.

“It was a good show, but thereafter it was a nightmare. There were long traffic jams. Police were also finding it tough to manage the traffic as no proper planning was done,” said Ravi Bhagat, a resident of Panchkula, who had come for the air show with his family.

While all roads were open for VIPs, the UT Guest House Chowk was closed to the public, even pedestrians. Hundreds of people had to go towards Kishangarh on foot. Because of this many people returned without watching the air show and there were many who stood at the UT Guest House Chowk in anticipation.

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