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Chandigarh poised for Yoga Day, but rain casts shadow 

Chandigarh, June 20 (IANS) Authorities were busy giving last-minute touches to the Capitol Complex here for the International Yoga Day event on Tuesday morning, to be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as fears of a washout loomed large after showers in the City Beautiful on Monday evening.

The showers notwithstanding, preparations continued in full swing and officials were busy sprucing up the venue after the rain.

“There are high chances of rain in Chandigarh and nearby areas on Tuesday too,” Surinder Paul, director of the meteorological office here, told IANS.

A total of 30,000 participants — 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana — donning T-shirts and black or blue tracksuit lowers, will perform deep breathing and stretching exercises against the backdrop of the Capitol Complex, one of the acclaimed creations of French architect Le Corbusier.

While the main event will be held at Capitol Complex, other participants will do yoga at 100 centres spread across the city, for which nearly 45,000 people have enrolled.

More than 30,500 India-made coloured mats with the Yoga Day logo will be laid out over a 12 lakh square feet area for the participants.

“We have made special arrangements for the participants, like 40 LED (light-emitting diode) screens and 300 prefabricated bio-toilets, at the main venue,” Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal told reporters.

Likewise, LED screens have been put up at the other 100 venues for the live telecast of the main event.

“This will certainly benefit the residents who can’t participate in the main event due to space constraints,” he said.

Aggarwal said after the 45-minute event — which will start at 6.30 a.m. — the participants would be allowed to take the mats home. Each participant would be given one T-shirt and a bag containing printed material.

Before the yoga session, Modi will make a short speech.

Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, the event’s nodal officer, said 600 special buses would be deployed for transporting participants from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.

The administration has allowed participants to carry their mobile phones. It has even set up a selfie zone at the venue entrance where participants can click selfies.

For streamlining public entry, Aadhaar-linked radio frequency identification cards have been issued to participants.

Modi will arrive in the city late on Monday evening and spend the night at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here.

He will arrive at the Capitol Complex at 6.30 a.m. for the event and leave for Delhi later in the day.

Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, along with Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers Parkash Singh Badal and Manohar Lal Khattar respectively, will receive the Prime Minister at the airport.

Eight VIPs — Solanki, Badal and Khattar, union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik, Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kanwar Pal, local Member of Parliament Kirron Kher and Secretary (Ayush) Ajit M. Sharan — will share the dais with Modi.

A 24-member team of public broadcaster Doordarshan equipped with 22 cameras will cover the event live.

Officials said all places, including those to be visited by Modi, will remain open to public though restrictions will be imposed on movement of vehicles on routes to be taken by the dignitaries.

This is the second visit of Modi in six months to Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex.

On January 24, Modi received visiting French President Francois Hollande at the Capitol Complex.

In the run-up to the second International Yoga Day, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev along with thousands of followers participated in the four-day yoga festival in Chandigarh.

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