Amusement to go missing in Balijatra this year
By Express News Service | Published: 02nd November 2013 11:07 AM |
There would be no giant wheels, merry-go-rounds nor joyrides - the major crowd pullers drawing children, young and old alike - during Balijatra this year.
A decision to forgo amusement zone from the historic fair has been taken by the district administration in view of the unsafe condition of the fair ground in the wake of the recent deluge coupled with an alarming advance of the Mahanadi river towards the banks.
While the days-long downpour has rendered the sandy soil of the river bed soft and dangerous, the river has also forged an ingression of over 20-30 metres into the fair ground. So much so, the river has substantially encroached the demarcated land space, eating through the VIP road to the site of the Tehsildar’s control room.
Cuttack Collector Girish SN along with senior administration officials, Cuttack Municipal Corporation authorities and officials of other allied departments on Friday made an on-site visit to assess the conditions as Balijatra is set to go underway from November 17.
“The ground has been badly affected during the rain. The sandy bed has become loose which will not support heavy erections like the giant wheels, merry-go-rounds and the like. For the safety of the visitors, we have decided to do without amusement section this year,” Girish said.
The fair will also be largely trimmed in scale and stalls this year. Considering the availability of safe space, the number of stalls is likely to be less than 1,000 from over 1,300 last year. Priority would be given to Pallishree Mela of ORMAS that showcases SHG products as well as traditional art and craft from across the State and country along with small manufacturers, producers and artisans, who set up stalls individually.
“We have decided to cater to these sections as they look forward to the business during these seven days, that would sustain them for a year,” Girish added.
Along with absence of the amusement section, Balijatra is also set to make do without the entertainment and cultural programmes this year.
The administration is planning not to host any entertainment or cultural programme in view of the twin calamities of Phailin and subsequent floods that affected almost the entire State.