SRINAGAR: For the first time, the main January 26 celebrations in Kashmir would be held at SK Cricket Stadium Sonawar instead at the traditional venue, Bakshi Stadium.
The decision according to sources was taken at a recent meeting held under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan in view of construction works going at Bakshi Stadium.
Officials said that it is for the first time when main January 26 celebration would be held at Srinagar’s cricket ground instead at Bakshi Stadium.
In view of change in venue, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the police department and other security agencies to ensure “adequate and fool proof security” arrangements in and around the venue.
“In Srinagar security should be tightened more than before owing to change of venue this time around,” an official privy to the meeting quoting senior officers having said in the meeting. The police department has been directed to make a “comprehensive” security plan.
A police official said that security would be strengthened in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Dal Gate, and Sonawar area.
“The security agencies will take extra measures this time in view change in venue and recent fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp,” the police official said.
The official said that road from Radio Kashmir to Sonawar road may remain closed for few days before the January 26.
“This will be more a challenging job for the security agencies as the venue falls near business hub Lal Chowk. The police department has been directed to make a comprehensive security plan,” the official said.
The DIG Armed has been directed to coordinate the preparation and supervise of the parade, while SSP Security has been directed to ensure “adequate” security on all fronts.
Authorities have also decided to stop the entry to ground B after January 15. This is likely to affect the preparations to players who go to the stadium for practices.
The Director School Education Kashmir has been directed to ensure participation of contingents of educational institutions including private schools in the main function.
It has been decided to utilise three Pawan Hans for flower showing and to keep surveillance on the venue. Khan has also directed for supply of water, power, medicare, parking, transportation, sanitation, seating, and heating public address system, and fire fighting measures.
Khan said that venue has been shifted in view of ongoing construction works going at Bakshi Stadium.
“There will fool-proof security arrangements in and around the venue and along the roads leading to the stadium,” he said.
He has also directed officials to ensure better parking and transport arrangements.

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