LAHORE: The four-day annual Tablighi ijtemaTablighi ijtemaTablighi ijtema in Raiwind will begin from Thursday (today) after Asar prayers. Local administration, city police, civil defence and provincial transport departments has made special arrangements for the first phase of the four-day annual religious public gathering.
Thousands of people from several cities within the country including Lahore, Kasur, Gujranwala, Sukkur, Tharparkar, Gujrat, Sialkot, Chilas, Mansehra, Peshawar, Abbotabad along with many others will attend the annual congregation in the first phase. More devotees from rest of the cities will participate in second phase, which will start next week.
Lahore Transport Company (LTC) in collaboration with private transport operators has taken the responsibility of providing transport service to participants of the Raiwind congregation. The company will operate special shuttle services comprising mini-buses with two different route alignments to facilitate commuters. The mini-buses will operate from November 3 to 6.
According to an LTC spokesman, as per the operational plan, mini-buses will operate parallel on two routes starting from General Bus Stand and bus bays outside Railway Station.
LTC Chief Executive Officer Khawaja Haider Latif said the company had also deputed enforcement wing staff for effective monitoring of the shuttle service of mini-buses on aligned routes for Raiwind congregation.
According to a security plan devised by Lahore police, at least 3,000 police officials will be deployed in two shifts to provide three-layered security to the devotees participating in the ijtema. The participants would be allowed entry after a physical check, a check with metal detectors and passing through walk-through gates. For the purpose, 22 checkpoints have been established and 20 walk-through gates have been installed and 10 points for entry of traffic have been specified. To monitor the situation, 33 CCTV cameras have also been installed and a central command and control room at SP Sadar has been established.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2016.