BARGARH : Even as uncertainty looms over the venue of the 11-day Dhanu Yatra beginning from January 2, rehearsal for the enactments during the festival is on in full swing at Kalyan Mandap here.
Earlier, the district administration had proposed relocation of venue of the Raj Durbar of demon king Kansa from the crammed Hatpada to the spacious Nishamani School ground in the town. Although the proposal was initially agreed by everyone, few members of the Dhanu Yatra Organising Committee submitted their resignation protesting the decision of shifting of venue. They pressurised the district administration to continue with the old tradition of conducting the yatra at Hatpada.
Following this, Collector Anjan Kumar Manik formed a 10-member committee to look into the arrangements of the Raj Durbar at Hatpada with certain conditions.
These conditions include ban on use of roof-top celebration, which has been an integral part in construction of the Raj Durbar, fool proof electricity and fire safety arrangement with certificate from authorities concerned, adequate space for parking of ambulance, fire brigade besides, undisturbed movement of the elephant atop which King Kansa tours his kingdom. As the restrictions were difficult to comply with, it now seems the organising committee will settle for Nishamani School ground.
Since the inception of Dhanu Yatra, the Raj Durbar of demon king Kansa, operates from Hatpada. But, with the growing population and associated pressure, the space at Hatpada has been squeezed. Moreover, the daily markets operating in the area have also made the venue congested. Last year, while seven days of the yatra were held in Hatpada, the rest four days were shifted to Nishamani school ground. This time the entire festival is likely to be organised at the school ground. Construction of the stage at the school ground has also begun.
Meanwhile, rehearsals are underway by all the main characters of the yatra at Ambapali across river Jeera, which turns into Gopapur during the festival. Hrusikesh Bhoi will play the role of King Kansa. He will be joined by Artatrana Mohapatra for the role of Maharaj Ugrasen, while Pradeep Panda will don the role of Mahamantri of King Kansa.