Data Darbar Urs arrangements in final stages

Urs of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh LAHORE: The Provincial Auqaf Department has finalised arrangements for the 986th Urs of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh that is to be observed in the metropolis from January 13 to 15.

In addition to enhancing security, the Punjab government has released Rs 7.1 million for langar (free food) and other arrangements for the Urs.Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Punjab Auqaf Minister Haji Ahsanuddin said that the three-day event would kick off with a ceremony of chadder poshi and the commencement of a milk sabeel at 10 am on Friday.

He said that special security arrangements had been made in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. A total of 80 CCTV cameras will monitor the entry and exit points to Data Darbar as well as the adjoining areas, and nine walkthrough gates would be installed where at least 65 security guards would be on duty to check each of the visitors with the help of metal detectors, he elaborated. The visitors would be allowed entry to the shrine only after a proper security check, he said, adding that female police personnel would also be on duty inside the shrine, working in collaboration with several volunteer organisations working on the occasion.

Ahsanuddin said that in order to ensure foolproof security arrangements for thousands of pilgrims on the three-day Urs, services of a private security agency had also been sought that will be deputing its 102 guards to strengthen the security system in place. Police has also been ordered to keep a strict check on pickpockets on the occasion, he said.

Camps of first aid, Rescue 1122, WAPDA, WASA, Civil Defence, SNGPL would also be established to deal with any emergency situation, the minister added.The security measures and other related arrangements are being made keeping in mind last year’s suicide blast during the Urs ceremony, that killed at least 13 and left more than 70 injured, at a police checkpoint at Urdu Bazaar Chowk, situated midway between the Data Darbar and the route of chehlum procession of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS). – Dailytimes