BAHAWALPUR: Final touches are being given to the 245-kilometre long track ahead of the 16th edition of the country’s mega sports event -- Cholistan jeep rally -- from Feb 11 to 14.

The four-day event will be held in the vast desert near the historic Derawar Fort about 70 kilometres from here. As part of the preparation plan, the track was inspected by Livestock Additional Secretary (South Punjab) Tanvir Jhandhear and he expressed his satisfaction over its completion.

The annual feature will be jointly organised by the divisional and district administrations and the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP).

A warm welcome awaits the participating jeep owners, drivers and racers who will reach the venue from across the country by Wednesday. Officials of the divisional administration has tastefully decorated the venue with the installation of multi-coloured lights and illuminated the roundabout of Karachi bypass near the overhead bridge of the dried-up river Sutlej and the flyover leading to the city.

Besides, the canal view park on the way to Cholistan has also been bedecked with lights to accord a warm welcome to the participants and guests during night time.

The organisers say many participants have already reached the venue in the desert while a majority of them will reach on Wednesday. Quite a good number of enthusiastic spectators have also started reaching the desert to have a glimpse of the racers who will engage in their preliminary practice of running their vehicles on the sandy track. The registration of the participating vehicles will conclude on Wednesday evening and it will be followed by technical checking of vehicles by the experts at the venue.

The jeep rally’s qualifying round is scheduled to be held on Thursday (tomorrow) while the rally’s main event of flag-off ceremony will be held on Friday morning at Dilwish Stadium in Cholistan. On Feb 13, stock category participants will compete on the track while the dirt bike race will also be organised for the first time the same day, followed by a spectacular display of fireworks during night.

On the last day (Feb 14), women racers will try their luck while the final round of the rally will be completed before the prize-distribution function at night.

Divisional Commissioner retired Capt Muhammad Zafar Iqbal and PTDC officials have already issued instructions to strictly implement the SOPs of Covid-19.

The personnel of the law- enforcement agencies led by DPO Hassan Mushtaq Sukhera have prepared a comprehensive security plan for the four-day event in Cholistan.

The trophy of the rally was unveiled at a ceremony here on Tuesday, says a handout. A number of dignitaries were invited to be part of the colourful event.

PATRICIDE: A youngster killed his father over what police said property dispute in Ahmedpur East on Tuesday.

Police sources said Sarfraz had a dispute with his father Fayyaz over the share of house. Sarfraz quarreled with his father and hit him with a brick as a result of which Fayyaz suffered head injury and was taken to the THQ hospital where he died.

Police registered a murder case against the suspect.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2021

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