Residents are also angry about funds being spent on preparations for the President’s visit
Chikkamagaluru district administration has ordered closure of all business establishments in Sringeri Town Panchayat limits on October 7-8 in view of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit on October 8.
On October 6, officials went around town with a public address system appealing to traders to close their shops for two days. T. Leelavathi, Chief Officer of the panchayat, told The Hindu that the panchayat made the appeal on orders from the Deputy Commissioner. “The shops should remain closed for two days,” she said. The town has around 470 business establishments.
This decision has attracted the wrath of the local people. Many entered into arguments with the officers. They are angry with the decision because they have already incurred losses due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
R. Shabarish, a resident of Sringeri, said, “Where was the need to impose such restrictions on us? The President is visiting the temple. We welcome him and are happy about his visit. But, why should the administration force shopkeepers close their establishments for two days?”
The residents are also angry about funds being spent on preparations for the President’s visit. Three helicopters would land in the town during his visit.
A helipad is being prepared in Sringeri for the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind on October 8, 2021.
Earlier, the administration had cleared Gandhi Maidan to park three helicopters. The temporary shops in the premises were asked to vacate.
But now, the ground will be utilised to park only one helicopter. Additional money is being spent to create space at Koradakallu to park two helicopters.
“When gram panchayats and town panchayats request for funds, the government refuses citing COVID-19. However, the government is spending huge sums on building helipads,” said Shabarish, who is also a member of Vidyaranyapura Gram Panchayat.
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