JAP-1 ground is the new venue for I-day function
In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Jharkhand Armed Police-1 (JAP-1) ground in Doranda, Ranchi will host this year's low-key Independence Day programme, instead of the usual Morabadi ground venue, as authorities take steps to control public turnout in an event where Jharkhand’s Covid-19 warriors and those who defeated the deadly virus will be special invitees.
For the first time in many years, Ranchi’s iconic ground is not going to host the I-day programme. The district administration on Tuesday announced the new venue in the wake of the ongoing Covid outbreak and lockdown curbs, which mandates minimum gathering.
Last Saturday, deputy commissioner Chhavi Ranjan, along with police top brass, had inspected two venues — JAP-1 ground in Doranda and Birsa Munda football stadium in Morabadi. DC Ranjan, who held a preparatory meeting said, “After assessing all aspects, we decided that JAP-1 ground is apt for this year’s I-day programme. The celebrations will be without much fanfare.”
Sources said that JAP-1 ground was preferred because the place is owned by the police department and will be easier to rope in personnel for security duty. “While the football stadium, too, is a guarded facility but JAP-1 ground was preferred because of its better upkeep and other facilities in place,” said an official.
The administration has also decided to not extend any event passes to commoners or guests to restrict the turnout. Chief Minister Hemant Soren will unfurl the tricolour in the presence of key officials of the state government. Another official said, “The total number of guests is yet to be finalised but there will be an earmarked place for their seating on either side of the main stage.”
At the meeting on Tuesday, DC has directed drinking water supply and sanitation department to set up makeshift toilets and water kiosks on war-footing, while building construction department has been asked to set up hangers and undertake patchworks and beautification of the venue before the I-day. Few days before the programme, Ranchi police will issue detailed route map for parking and route diversion.