No VIPs or VVIPs at main ghat please: Kumbh officials

Haridwar: VIPs and VVIPs wanting to take the holy bath at the historical 'Har Ki Pauri' ghat during the Maha Kumbh here will have to do so like the common man, sans their gun totting commandos or protocol directives.

According to the Mela officials, letters have been sent to the Central government and all state government's telling them that no VIP or VVIP 'snan' (bath), with the security paraphernalia and other privileges, would be allowed at the main bathing ghat on any of the 'snan' days.

"We have already sent letters to all state governments and the Centre, telling them that VIP or VVIPS wanting to take bath will have to undertake 'snan' at the bathing ghats, especially 'Har Ki Pauri', without any special arrangements," Chief Mela Officer Anand Bardhan said.

He said the step was taken because during the bathing dates, especially on February 12 when the 'shahi snan' would take place for 'Maha Shivaratri' besides February 15 - Somvati Amavasi Snan and April 14 - Mesha Sankranti Snan, providing security to VIPs and following protocol would create additional pressure on the administration.

Keeping this in mind, the administration has made a VIP ghat, where even the Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank took his 'snan' in the wee hours of January 15, just before the solar eclipse.

The VIP ghat can be used only after proper passes are issued by the local administration and is meant to cater to the judges, senior bureaucrats, politicians and governors.