BAHAWALPUR: The 16th Cholistan jeep rally, like other cultural and sporting events, will be a low-key affair this time round due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A mega attraction for the sport lovers from all over the country, the jeep rally is an annual feature of the desert cultural calendar for a variety of activities it offers. It is going to be organised on a limited scale from Feb 11 to 14 in the vast desert.

A number of fans will be disappointed for not being able to visit the historical Derawar Fort venue in Cholistan (about 70 kilometres from here).

According to a plan, there will neither be a cultural night nor any other traditional feature for the visitors. The four-day event will miss the music and other cultural programmes which promote a soft image of the country far and wide.

A meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner retired Capt Muhammad Zafar Iqbal on Saturday discussed the arrangements for the rally with the officials of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Four by Four jeep racing club’s Mahmood Majid Chaudhry, Saood Majid Chaudhry, Cholistan Development Authority Managing Director Rana Muhammad Saleem and personnel of security institutions.

The participants said all precautionary measures should be put in place to protect the jeep rally participants as well as the crowd from Covid-19. They discussed ways to ensure compliance of SOPs at all levels to minimise the risk of virus spread.

The officials decided that instead of traditional cultural and music programmes, there should be a spectacular display of fireworks at the historical fort, illumination of its building and dirt bike race.

As an alternative, the officials discussed, there is a possibility to organise a paragliding race for the amusement of the crowd. It will be a new attraction for the people.

The commissioner directed the law-enforcement agencies to draw up security plan to make the event a success.

ADP PROJECTS: As many as 26 projects under the ADP 2020-21 have been completed at a cost of Rs1,472 million in the district.

This was discussed at a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner Muzaffar Khan Sial. The officials said that under the sustainable development programme (SAP), 198 projects worth Rs438 million had been completed and execution of203 projects was under way in the next phase.

DOGS ATTACK: The Rescue 1122 personnel on Saturday disposed of the body of a new born baby who was fatally attacked by a pack of stray dogsat Darbar Chowk in Hasilpur.

According to the Rescue officials, the body was found on a heap of garbage in Hasilpur and a caller informed them about it. They said they handed over the body to police for burial.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2021

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