Tourists draw flak owing to PM Rally at Ridge, SPG keeping strict vigil around venue


Tourist resort Shimla registers footfall of lakhs of tourists during summer season every day, now have to draw flak as almost no tourist could not venture on the historic Ridge ground for almost three days owing to preparation and Prime Minister Rally here. Meanwhile SPG and local police was keeping strict vigil on the Ridge ground and turning town into a fortress.


The Ridge ground was cordoned by the organizers since early this morning as it was covered with the barricades and chairs forcing the tourists to not venture here as no vacant space left for them. Town was full to its capacity as tourists were making flux here to enjoy pleasant weather of Shikla and avoid the sweltering heat wave of the plane as they have to remain confined to their hotels and Mall Roads.


They could venture or may be allowed on the Ridge for next two days as PM to address the BJP ‘Shankh Nad’ Rally here as the venue likely to be dress up for the event three days in advance. Meanwhile SPG and Police forces occupied the every inch of space on ground and even on the Mall road making the town highly choked. Daily commuters have to face the hardship as their movement to be restricted and traffic likely to be remained highly congested or one way.


Meanwhile SPGs officials were keeping the strict vigil in the venue and in entire town as the vehicle carrying red flags seen patrolling and parked on the sealed and restricted areas to make the PM security foolproof. They were physically checking each noke and corner at every entry and exit points of he town moreover deployment of heavy security officials choked the hill town and open places.


PM is likely to enter in the heart of town at AG office before having flight from Delhi to Shimla airport where he is scheduled to unveil the Uddan Scheme at Jubberhati outskirt of Shimla town. PM is scheduled to land at Annadale helipad in a Air force Helicopter and cavalcades of SPG bring him in the town at Kendey choke from where he would enter at CTO, crossing Mall road Mr. Modi likely to head toward the Cathelic Church at Ridge where he rush to addressed the public meeting from the Ridge view rain shelter at Taka bench.


Alternate roads were also keep open for entry of other VIIPS and Official vehicles. SPGs and Police forces to cover the both end or road in the entire route from Anandale to  Ridge after deployment of forces in the entire stretch. Deputy Commissioner Shimla, Mr. Rohan Chand Thakur and SP Shimla Mr. D.W.Negi personally visiting Ridge in the morning and earlier to access the seating plan in the venue along with SPG officers.


Number of Himachal Pradesh Police Jawan, Commandos, CIDs, Jawan in civil dress and keeping strict vigil in the town before four day of the event. Meanwhile a helicopter also taking sorties to access the arrangement and taking stock of security preparedness according to the laid protocol of VIIPS visit here. SPG officers were also took after safety aspect of Ridge venue and pressing local administration to make foolproof arrangement to avert any mishap during the Rally.


There are Report that SPG officers pressing the local DC and SP to issue certificate of safety of ground as it was situated on a water mansion tank however both reportedly decline to ascertain it. DC Shimla and SP reportedly visited by the SPG officer in their office to access the apprehension of any mishap to make the all necessary arrangement to avoid any eventuality. It was worthwhile to mention here that Deputy Mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation Mr. Tekinder Singh Panwer said that SPG jawan visited his office to discuss about the safety issue of venue. ” I have already alerted the PM after shooting a letter to him about the vulnerability of the venue however it was the BJP state unit to show keenness to hold Rally in this venue,  BJP legislator Mr Suresh Bhardwaj also pressed to host this rally at the Ridge however they could not certify its safety” Mr Panwer told Himvani.


Raj day tanks exceeded the carrying capacity of more surcharge however the no heavy vehicle and events are normally allowed on the tank, the high court of Himachal Pradesh and been taken the cognizance of matter. BJP and Congress leaders have been addressed politically rally here in the past however the Summer festival being organised by district commissioner at the opposite end of this venue. Union Health Minister Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda also visited the Ridge Ground this evening to access the preparation for the PM rally along with local leaders.


Local BJP unit did not utter a single word about the safety of venue however it remained busy organizing sanitation program in Shimla town as leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal attended a Saphai Abhiyan at Sabji Mandi ground this noon. BJP has organized similar cleanness program to in the mode of rally from April 24 onward. This would be first visit of Prime Minister after taking PM office as he had been remained the state party in charge earlier and visited most part of the State.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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