LAHORE: The Punjab government has imposed a complete ban on the operation and functioning of mechanical and mobile rides (swings, slides, etc in parks and elsewhere) during Eid holidays to avoid accidents and ensure the safety of citizens.

In the past, several accidents have been reported due to malfunctioning and falling mechanical rides, resulting in the loss of lives, including children, and injuries to several other riders. Such incidents were reported at amusement and water parks in different cities, including Lahore and Multan, in the province.

Mechanical ride accidents are generally reported during Eid holidays or Christmas holidays, as more families visit amusement parks with their children to enjoy the rides.

Ahead of Eidul Azha holidays, the Provincial Intelligence Committee (PIC) took up the matter earlier this week and, after thorough discussion, decided that “there shall be a complete ban on the operational/functional use of mechanical rides during the holidays of Eidul Azha, 2024, across Punjab to avoid any untoward incident.”

It was observed that mechanical rides throughout the year cause no problems, but due to the rush on Eid holidays, some rides malfunction due to overloading beyond the sanctioned capacity.

Responding to the PIC’s call, the Punjab Home Department communicated the committee’s recommendation to all deputy commissioners in the province, imposing a ban on mechanical and mobile rides.

The deputy commissioners are now responsible for ensuring that no mechanical ride in the province functions during Eid holidays.

The Home Department has also involved the local government department secretary, all divisional commissioners, RPOs, CPOs, and DPOs in the province to ensure that the ban is implemented in letter and spirit during Eid holidays.

When asked whether the ban also applied to the Patriata chairlift in Murree, a senior Home Department official said the Patriata chairlift would not be affected by this ban, as it was functioning after performing testing protocols by the Punjab Tourism Department.

The officer said the department would issue clarifications to ensure that the ban is imposed in good faith and in letter and spirit.

SECTION 144: The Home Department has extended the imposition of section 144 in Sargodha, primarily to avert protests and rallies in the wake of mob violence against a Christian man accused of desecrating the Holy Quran.

The Home Department had initially imposed section 144 in Sargodha on May 25 and then on June 1 for seven days each. The latest order, issued on Saturday, extends the validity of the order for a further period of seven days with immediate effect.

The order bans “all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests, and other activities across district Sargodha”.

The PTI has also announced its schedule of holding workers’ conventions in seven cities from June 5 to June 15, including Sargodha on June 15.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2024

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