At Assi Ghat in Varanasi. (Photo/ANI)
At Assi Ghat in Varanasi. (Photo/ANI)

Varanasi boatmen to stay away from services in solidarity with other rowers prohibited during PM visit

ANI | Updated: Nov 29, 2020 00:04 IST

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], November 29 (ANI): The boatmen of Varanasi have decided not to row their boats on November 30, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the city, in solidarity with a section of rowers who have been prohibited by the administration in view of security.
As part of the security arrangements for the visit of the Prime Minister to his parliamentary constituency on November 30 for Dev Deepawali, the administration has prohibited boat services in a section of ghats on Ganga river.
"The administration has given an order that on PM Modi's arrival, boats from Lalita Ghat to Rajghat will be prohibited. They said that boats will be allowed between Sheetla Ghat and Assi Ghat. We thought that it will affect one section and hence in solidarity with our brothers and show of respect for PM Modi, we decided that we will not row on November 30, "Pramod Majhi, a rower, told ANI
"We initiated a signature campaign and almost everyone signed the proposal to not row on November 30," he added.

Varanasi Municipal Commissioner Gaurang Rathi said that due to limited space and security reasons, the prohibition has been ordered.
"On November 30, rowers from outside will not be allowed to come to Kashi. Due to security concerns, the administration has asked us to ensure the numbering of boats and give IDs to rowers to make them part of our programmes. To make up for their losses, we will engage them in various programmes and show the culture of Varanasi. Over 1,000 people have applied for the IDs. Rowers are also supporting it," Rathi, also the Varanasi Smart City Chief Executive Officer, said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Varanasi on Friday to review preparedness. Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Awanish Awasthi also reviewed preparations yesterday.
Dev Dipawali is a function after Deepawali when a large number of lamps are lit on the banks of rivers and other places on Kartik Purnima.
On the occasion of Dev Deepawali, lighting of lamps and cultural programmes will be organised at 15 Ghats of Ganga river in Varanasi. A lazer show will also be organised on this occasion. (ANI)