Tribune News Service
Patiala, February 21
The district administration has completed preparations for the heritage festival and crafts mela, which will begin from Saturday. The festival will witness music and dance performances along with pop shows that will continue till March 5.
Officials said repainting of walls, setting up of the stage and cleanliness drives at the venues had been completed. The stage at the Qila Mubarak along with lighting and tent at the Sheesh Mahal is set to host the event.
The heritage festival will be inaugurated with a presentation on the history of Patiala presented by Harbaksh Singh Latta on Saturday. The city will host the festival for the third time in a row since 2018 where dancers, including Kuchipudi dancer and Padma Bhushan awardee Raja Radha Reddy, noted tabla player and Padma Bhushan awardee Ustad Zakir Hussain and Sitar player Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan will be performing during musical evenings.
A vintage car rally will be flagged-off from Chandigarh on February 27 and will reach the city. Punjabi movie actors Ranjeet Bawa and Jashan Singh will also perform during the pop show on February 28.
As many as 150 craftsmen from the country and abroad will sell fine metalwork, traditional jewellery, textiles and pottery products during the crafts mela at the Sheesh Mahal.
The officials said there is no confirmation of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh inaugurating the festival. Patiala MP Preneet Kaur will inaugurate the events. The crafts mela will be inaugurated at 4 pm while the heritage festival will be inaugurated at 6 pm on Saturday.
The district administration to ensure proper hassle-free parking this time has decided to manage it on its own. Officials said the parking facilities will be taken care of by the administration and the visitors will not be charged for it. “The administration will charge only Rs 20 for entry to the mela”, an official said. They said special teams of police personnels and vans will be stationed at different locations to tackle any issue while an emergency route will also be maintained on the sidelines. The administration has made provisions for the VIP entry to the Sheesh Mahal through the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) to provide a hassle-free entry and exit to visitors.
Health Dept geared up to tackle coronavirus threat
The District Health Department has stepped up its efforts to provide all health-related facilities to visitors.
Health officials said while screening of all people coming from abroad is being done at various airports, teams of the health officials will be available at all sites to provide any health-related facilities to the visitors in view of the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus). Civil Surgeon Harish Malhotra said, “There is no threat of spread of the virus as we are checking and screening all people coming from other countries as per list and information provided by the district administration.”
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