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Partial eclipse mars plans of Kurukshetra mela

The Kurukshetra district administration is in a fix over organising a solar eclipse mela on May 21. Vishal Joshi reports.

india Updated: May 16, 2012 20:01 IST
Vishal Joshi
Vishal Joshi
Hindustan Times

The Kurukshetra district administration is in a fix over organising a solar eclipse mela on May 21.

According to the Kurukshetra district administration, the annular eclipse would start at 2.26 am and culminate at 5.17 am on May 21 but this natural phenomenon would be visible only partially in the north-east India.

The rest of the country, including Kurukshetra would not experience the eclipse.

Meanwhile, private parties have been paid lakhs of rupees from the public exchequer to provide amenities including toilets, lighting, cleanliness etc. for a “non-event.”

Following the local administration’s proposal, HT has learnt that the state government organised a mela and released a sum of about Rs 50 lakh for the mela.

Even as the local administration realized its dilemma, it continued to propagate the mela.

Deputy commissioner Mandeep Singh Barar remained in a meeting till the report was filed in the evening and his version was not available.

For the last two days, the district information and public relations department is issuing official media releases about the large scale mela arrangements. The state publicity department is emphasising on the day and arrangements for the mela.

At a press conference held today, the sub divisional magistrate-cum mela administrator Satbir Kundu admitted that the solar eclipse would not be visible in Kurukshetra but claimed that pilgrims may come in lakhs to take a holy dip at Bhrama Sarovar and Sannehit Sarovars.

A non-official member of the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) Prof HS Sinha said that as per the Hindu belief, no rituals are performed if Kurukshetra does not experience solar eclipse.

Meanwhile, elaborated arrangements are underway and the overzealous administration has stepped up to insure 3 lakh pilgrims.

Besides heavy movement of police for security, plans for traffic restrictions, provisions of special buses etc have been chalked out.

However, official sources admitted that the administration goofed up by granting the non-event a status of mela.

“Even if the authorities feel that pilgrims may come to Kurukshetra due to eclipse, arrangements could have been created without naming it a mela and without much publicity,” said a senior district official.

First Published: May 16, 2012 19:59 IST