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Traffic halts on city roads as thousands turn up for IAF’s show

The movement on some roads and roundabouts were already restricted in view of the arrival of the Governors of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, who were in the UT to attend the Air Show.

The city roads witnessed severe traffic congestion, especially around the northern sectors, after the conclusion of the first day of the Air Show jointly held by the UT Administration and the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Sukhna Lake on Wednesday. The show began at 4 pm and concluded around 5.20 pm.

The movement on some roads and roundabouts were already restricted in view of the arrival of the Governors of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, who were in the UT to attend the Air Show.

Thousands of people, including those who came from the neighbouring states to watch the air show, preferred to walk to the lake after parking their vehicles around 2-km away. The entry for general public was allowed from the side of Kishangarh village only.

Meanwhile, due to low cloud pressure in Chandigarh, Suryakiran Aircrafts, which were the main attraction of the Air Show besides CH-47F Chinook and Rafale, could not perform over Sukhna Lake on Wednesday. However, Chinook, Rafale and other small aircrafts performed here.

At least nine Suryakiran aircrafts are likely to perform on Thursday. They will take off from Adampur Air Force Station in Jalandhar and reach Chandigarh at 4.30 pm. These aircrafts will perform for 25 minutes.

Group Capt PS Lamba told Indian Express that “Nine Suryakiran aircrafts did not perform today as the clouds were very low over Chandigarh. It was not advisable for Suryakirans to take flight. They will perform for 25 minutes tomorrow evening at 4.30 pm. The Air Show is being observed as Swarnim Jayanti Varsh to commemorate the 1971 Indo-Pak War. India won this battle over Pakistan.”

After the show ended, heavy rush was witnessed on the internal roads in Sectors 8, 7, 26 and towards Shastri Nagar Light Point, Mani Majra. Police personnel had to call additional police force to control the traffic flow. Besides the traffic police personnel, general police personnel were also deputed for controlling traffic.

“Sukhna Lake and its surrounding sectors fall in the jurisdiction of the central and northern police division. But as the number of people crossed the expected numbers, we had to call police personnel from the southern police division also”, said a police officer. He maintained, “People came to see the Air Show in unexpected numbers. They came from many districts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal. There was only one entry point for them to enter Sukhna Lake to see the Air Show which created chaos.”

The road before the UT Guest House, Haryana Raj Bhawan was not opened for the general public. People, who were not allowed to go the Sukhna Lake from various roads, were found standing on the roundabouts to get a glimpse of Chinook, Suryakirans, Rafale.

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