Barely 12 hours before the mega event, the Chandigarh administration received a major setback as heavy rains lashed the city on Monday evening ruining the entire seating arrangement, leaving the officials very worried.
Around 30,000 participants are expected to take part in the one-hour Yoga Day event that will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Capitol Complex Tuesday.
The downpour started around 4.30 pm when finishing touches were being given to the venue.
The rain, which lasted over an hour not only left the venue waterlogged but also submerged the carpets, covering the 12-lakh square feet area, and 30,000 mats.
- Chennai rain live updates: Heavy downpour pounds city, severe water-logging in several areas
- Rains resume in Chennai after brief respite; more in store
- International Yoga Day: Battered by rain, Chandigarh pulls off a tough task
- International Yoga Day: Met dept keeps close watch on weather in Chandigarh
- Stage set for 2nd International Yoga Day; 30,000 ‘chosen ones’ wait for mega event
- The home stretch
Water had also flown into VIP seating areas, medical and water booths placed at different parts of the complex.
Once the rain stopped, additional work force was quickly pressed into service to clear the water with top officials, including UT Adviser Parimal Rai, Home Secretary Anurag Agarwal, Finance Secretary Sarvjit Singh and Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, rushing to the spot to take stock of the situation.
“Rain has made things difficult for us. We will try our best to get the area ready on time,” said Anurag Agarwal.
Apparently, around 60 per cent of the area where mats have been laid comprises the green portion while the remaining is concrete.
An official of engineering department on request of anonymity said, “No matter how hard we try, we won’t be able to dry the entire green area as well as the carpet. People will have to perform yoga on wet surface.”
Participants will start entering the venue at around 4am and entry will close at 5:30am. Meanwhile , till the filing of this report, workers were struggling to clear water from the venue.