Dhurwa grounds, the Ranchi venue for Narendra Modi’s rally, being readied on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
First, it was truant winter. Now, it is Narendra Modi. Picnic plans of Ranchiites are facing one hurdle after the other.
Come Sunday, capital picnickers will have a tough time finding public vehicles to ferry them to Dassam or Jonha falls. For, BJP has booked around 3,000 buses of the state to ferry party supporters to Dhurwa grounds where its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address a rally on December 29.
“We have booked more than 3,000 buses from across the state. Local party leaders will co-ordinate with owners,” BJP spokesperson Pradeep Kumar Sinha told The Telegraph.
President of Bus Owners’ Association of Jharkhand Krishna Mohan Singh agreed, saying that though buses would be seen on capital roads, they would not ferry denizens. “The party has contacted bus owners across the state. For each bus, they will pay Rs 3,000 and bear fuel expenses. From Ranchi alone, 100 buses have been booked. This means there will be few buses to ferry citizens,” Singh said.
Modi’s rally is expected to draw no less than a lakh. BJP is leaving no stone unturned to make the gathering a huge success. The party has specifically asked leaders in Bundu, Tamar, Bero, Mandar, Patratu, Pithoria, Khunti and adjoining places to send in supporters in large numbers.
Hence, expect most of the 407 buses and trekkers ferrying passengers to distances within 60km around Ranchi to be near Dhurwa grounds.
According to Sinha, the party has also arranged special trains. “Four special trains will ferry our supporters from places like Nuamundi, Ghatshila, Sahebganj and Nagar Uttari. They will reach Ranchi in the morning on December 29,” said Sinha.
Apprehending commuting problems, many capital residents have already started postponing their plans.
Marwari College student Amrit Pradhan said he and his friends had planned to visit Jonha falls on December 29.
“Nearly 50 of us wanted to go to Jonha Falls, but it seems we will not get any bus on that day. Since picnic spots will be too crowded on the last three days of the year, we have deferred our plans to the first week of 2014,” he said.