Hockey mania reaches crescendo as inaugural countdown begins

Bhubaneswar: True to the tagline of the hockey men’s World Cup 2018, “heart beats for hockey” every heart in the city seems to be beating faster to catch a glimpse of the scheduled scintillating, energetic and vibrant inaugural ceremony scheduled in the evening today.

Apart from the city that’s decked up in every nook and cranny, everyone seems to be waiting with bated breath to singalong the theme of the World Cup ‘Jai Hind Jai India’ along with AR Rahman who will be performing with Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit.

Ahead of the ceremony, extensive security arrangements have been made in the capital city, informed Director-General of Police (DGP) R P Sharma.

“There are more than 50 officers in various supervisory roles who are DSP and above rank. In total we have placed 300 officers including inspectors, sub-inspectors and ASIs on duty. There are altogether 75 platoons of police force. While majority of them are OSAP platoons, we have mobilised some platoons from other battalions also,” said Sharma.

While traffic rules have been changed from Jaydev Vihar square till Kalinga stadium with the route declared no vehicle zone, it will also be effective in some routes from 2 pm to 10 pm. Similarly, shuttle services have been arranged to ferry people to the stadium.

To ensure hassle-free parking, spots at Janata Maidan, Nayapalli Durga Puja field, Rabana podi field, Shastri nagar, Nicco park road, old AG colony, IDCOL ground and Kalinga stadium have been finalised.

On the other hand, as many as 1800 artistes from different countries, classical dancers & musicians will perform during the inauguration ceremony.

Meanwhile, the Kalinga Sena on Monday withdrew its threat of throwing ink at Shah Rukh during his visit to Odisha for participating in the opening ceremony.

In view of the opening ceremony, Odisha government has declared holiday for schools in Bhubaneswar and half day in other districts whereas banks, financial institutions and all the government offices across the state will function till 1:30 PM under NI Act. Similarly, BPUT has postponed the semester examination in all the colleges under it regarding which notice has been sent to the institutions and exam centres.