Basant at Changa Manga

LAHORE: The Punjab government has announced to hold Basant festival at the Changa Manga forest from February 21 to March 5, and a formal notification in this regard has already been issued.
This notification has been issued on the continued pressure from the kite-flying association of the provincial metropolis, as well as the supporters of the dying industry of kites and strings manufacturing.
Another reason for allowing the festival was to provide entertainment facilities to the kite lovers, who had been legally stopped from flying kites following a number of deaths in the city caused by metallic twines. However, the citizens are still divided over whether to celebrate the festival at the designated place or not. 
Lahoris who had been demanding the government to allow kite flying at specified place are also not happy over the holding of the festival at a place which is around 70 kilometres away from Lahore. They said that although the area was safe, it would be very difficult for all of them to go there and enjoy the festival.
Keeping in view this problem, many kite lovers would remain unable to enjoy the festival there. They have demanded the government to allow Basant celebrations at Jallo Park, which is nearer as compared to Changa Manga.
However, law enforcement agencies and other quarters concerned have expressed their fear of potential damages to the public in case the direction of the air is towards the central city.
On the other hand, many groups of teenagers who can secure permissions form their families and somehow manage to reach Changa Manga, are overjoyed over this announcement.
They are making plans to enjoy the activity after a ban of several consecutive years. They are considering it an opportunity to enjoy kite flying contests and the shouts of ‘boo kaata’.
Some advocates of Basant link this festival to tourism, which would attract hundreds of foreigners at a time when the country needed to re-win the confidence of foreign tourists after the wave of terrorist activities in the country during the last few years.
Still, there are many people in the city who did not like the idea of allowing kite flying even at far-flung areas, especially at the risk of precious lives of innocent people.
The Punjab government has assigned the task to make necessary arrangements in this regard to the Kasur DCO, directing him to submit a report after making an observation of the arrangements afterwards.
Authorities have also been directed not to allow kite-flying activities anywhere else. The government has also warned of strict action against those violating the law.
According to a notification, other cultural festivals would also take place during the Basant at Changa Manga.
The festival has been delayed by another month, as the previous notification issued had said the festival would take place from January 21 and continue until February 5.

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