Annual mela at Baba Chamliyal shrine to begin from June 27

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Jammu, Jun 8 (PTI) The annual mela at the famous shrine of Baba Chamliyal near the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district will begin on June 27, officials said on Saturday.

The shrine of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, popularly known as Baba Chamliyal and considered a symbol of Indo-Pakistan bonhomie in the past, in the Ramgarh sector attracts thousands of devotees every year.

Since June 2018, the shrine has not hosted any delegation from Pakistan after four BSF personnel including an Assistant Commandant were killed in an unprovoked cross-border firing.

Earlier, the delegation from Pakistan Rangers used to visit and take ‘Shakkar’ (clay) and Sharbat’ (water) believed to have healing powers against various skin ailments from the shrine.

Deputy Commissioner Samba, Abhishek Sharma on Saturday chaired a meeting to review the preparations for the annual mela, emphasizing the concerned departments to speed up the ongoing works to ensure smooth conduct of the mela, the officials said.

Security arrangements, fire and emergency preparedness, traffic regulation, and the deployment of health officials were thoroughly reviewed, they said, adding that special attention was given to the installation of lights and the establishment of a ‘Lost and Found’ counter.

They said a committee was formed to monitor the quality and pricing of food items available at the mela.

The deputy commissioner directed the Roads and Buildings department to complete the filling of potholes on all major roads leading to the shrine while the Revenue, police and transport departments were tasked with identifying strategic spots for parking vehicles and installation of signages.

The Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department was instructed to ensure an uninterrupted water supply, with provisions for additional water tankers, the officials said, adding that the Power Development Department (PDD) was also directed to ensure proper lighting arrangements and uninterrupted power supply throughout the mela days.

The Tourism department was asked to install hoardings and banners at various locations to guide and inform the devotees.

Additionally, different departments were instructed to set up stalls to educate visiting devotees about various government schemes and welfare programs, the officials said. PTI TAS HIG HIG

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