In view of heavy inflow of Kanwarias (Shiv devotees) in the city, the District Magistrate here on Thursday ordered closure of all educational institutions in the district till July 30. According to the order by Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey, all schools, including primary, intermediate, recognised by CBSE and ICSE boards, and all colleges, including engineering, management and medical, must remain closed from July 25 to July 30, reported news agency IANS. "Shravan Shivratri" will be observed on July 30, Mr. Pandey said in his order.
"Devotees and Kanwars in excessive numbers are expected to turn out for the festival like previous years. Hence, all primary, secondary schools, including those affiliated to CBSE and ICSE board, degree colleges, engineering, management and medical colleges will remain closed from July 26 to 30," Mr Pandey said in the written order.
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of Lord Shiva's devotees known as Kanwars, who visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of the River Ganga during the auspicious Hindu month of Shravan.
The copies of the order have been sent to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Sub Divisional Magistrates (SDMs), Division Information Officers (DIOs), directors and principals of all educational institutions as well as media houses for free publication. The district police and administration officials have been instructed to ensure compliance of the order.
Security has been beefed up in districts of western Uttar Pradesh like Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Meerut for the annual pilgrimage, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
Around 8,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure monitoring of the yatra, while drones and helicopters have been arranged for aerial surveillance in the region, Director General of Police O P Singh had told reporters earlier this month while reviewing preparedness for the annual pilgrimage.
The Ghaziabad district administration had earlier made arrangements to make the National Highway-58 (NH 58) and Chaudhary Charan Singh Kanwar Marg on the upper Ganges canal hassle-free for movement of Kanwarias who are expected to reach the city, via these two routes from Haridwar, by July 30.
Additional District Magistrate, City, Shailendra Kumar Singh, told IANS then that from July 20, two lanes of NH 58 from Kadrabad border would be reserved only for the Kanwarias. On other two lanes, vehicles with stickers will be allowed to carry their food and other articles like tents and chairs for their rest and comfort.
Light vehicles would be allowed after proper screening but would be restricted in view of the inflow of Kanwarias which is expected to increase this year, IANS reported.
Traffic on the NH58 is expected to remain diverted for these 10 days.
The heavy traffic will be diverted to the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) from Duhai and Dasna, while the Haridwar and Dehradun-bound traffic would be en routed via Hapur, and Bijnore during these days, the officer added.
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