NEW DELHI: Schools and colleges in Ghaziabad district will remain closed from July 26 to 30 due to Kanwar Yatra, officials said on Thursday.“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,” District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said in a written order.
“Shravan Shivratri” will be observed on July 30, Pandey said. Police and administration officials in the district have been directed to ensure compliance with the 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 waters from the river Ganga during the Hindu month of Shravan.
Security has been beefed up in the districts of western Uttar Pradesh, including Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Meerut, for the pilgrimage. 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 OP Singh had told reporters earlier this month while reviewing preparedness for the annual pilgrimage.
Kanwars exempted from ‘No helmet, no fuel’ policy: Noida admin
The announcement comes a day after the district administration slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on a filling station in Greater Noida for violating the policy by giving petrol to motorcyclists without a helmet. “On the directions of District Magistrate BN Singh, it has been decided that the ‘No helmet, no fuel’ policy won’t be applicable on devotees and Kanwars. All filling stations in the district have been conveyed to provide fuel to Kanwars even if they are without helmet,” District Supplies Officer R N Singh said in a statement. The administration had brought in the “No helmet, no fuel” policy in Noida and Greater Noida on June 1 in a major bid to check road traffic violations.