‘Venue for historic Chhapar Mela may shift next year’
If the state government accepts the proposal sent by the senior superintendent of police, Ludhiana, the Chhapar Mela will don a brand new look from next year.
P re s e n t l y, the fa i r features stalls and rides lined up on either side of the two to three kilometre stretch of road that leads to Gugga Marri shrine, where thousands of devotees come to pay obeisance, but the proposal seeks to shift the annual event to a sprawling 28- acre piece of land nearby.
DSP Mullapur and Dakha Navreet Virk said, “The huge spot can be cleared to make space for the fair. This will ease traffic on road, benefiting pedestrians as well as those commuting in vehicles.”
He said that one acre of land, on an average, is given out on lease for around Rs 5 lakh for seven days for the fair, whereas the said 28-acre piece of land is given on a lease for a mere Rs three lakh annually.
“We are hoping to shift the venue to that area from next year, as it will help in making the security arrangements intact and the fair can be more organised this way,” said Virk.
This includes four superintendents of police, 15 deputy superintendents of police, volunteers from non-government organisation and around 150 women constables.
While three mobile CCTV vans have been deployed to monitor the event.
“For the first time ever, an anti-bomb squad has been stationed at the 150-year old fair,” he said. Four sniffer dogs too have been deployed at the venue, he added.
He further said that the sale of sharp-edged weapons was not allowed nor any visitor would be allowed to carry them.
Notably, in the past few years, the fair has seen instances, where some youths have indulged in fights leading to even murders.
For the third day of the fair that will see political parties hosting rallies and conferences, Virk said the security would be beefed up further.
“Over a lakh visitors are expected to throng the venue that day,” he said. The parking will be allotted constituency-wise on September 30, with a 15-acre piece of land allotted for Raikot, Dakha and Ajgaon, and another 30-acre allotted for Payal Khanna, Samrala, Gill, Ludhiana and Sahnewal.