Shivratri festival at Girnar begins amid heavy security

Heavy security arrangements have been made for the five-day annual Shivratri Mela,which kicked off at the foot of Girnar mountains on Wednesday.

Written by Sibte Husain Bukhari | Junagadh | Published: February 19, 2009 1:26 am

Heavy security arrangements have been made for the five-day annual Shivratri Mela,which kicked off at the foot of Girnar mountains on Wednesday.

Over five lakh visitors are likely to attend the celebrations,which will conclude with a procession by Naga Babas on Monday,the Shivratri day.

To avoid any untoward incident,the district administration,Junagadh Municipal Corporation,police and forest departments have taken up several steps.

Ashwini Kumar,Junagadh Collector,said that Shivratri Mela reflects rich culture of the region.

For the last 15 days,the district administration has been working hard to ensure smooth functioning of the event,said Kumar.

The Railways and state transport authorities have also declared that additional services will be pressed into service to facilitate the pilgrims visiting the place.

According to state transport officials,175 additional ST buses will run every day during the festival. More than half a dozen pick-up points have been set up in the city to facilitate the passengers. On the other hand,additional coaches will be attached with the trains running in the region.

The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat and Junagadh district administration will also organise cultural events at the 57-acre area where festival is being held.

Famous folk artists of the region will perform at different functions.

As the festival zone is surrounded by the Gir sanctuary,the Forest department has appealed to the visitors not to venture into forest areas.

Besides,certain restrictions have also been put on the use of loudspeakers and bursting of crackers.

Those found disturbing the wildlife or damaging the environment will be held liable for punishment under the forest act.

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