Queen’s baton to enter Himachal Sunday

Shimla, July 3 (Calcutta Tube) The Queen’s baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games is set to enter Himachal Pradesh Sunday, an organiser said Saturday.

‘The Queen’s Baton Relay will reach Mehatapur town in Una district tomorrow (Sunday) morning,’ Vinod Kumar, joint secretary of Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association (HPOA), told IANS.

He said the baton would then pass through Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur districts. From Sirmaur, it would enter Uttarakhand July 6. The baton is scheduled to reach Shimla Monday evening.

He said HPOA president J.P. Nadda would officially hand over the baton to the Uttarakhand Olympic Association July 6 at Paonta Sahib town in Sirmaur district.

‘It will cover a distance of 560 km in the state before entering Uttarakhand,’ Kumar said.

Elaborating on the programme, Kumar said the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has organised a function in its stadium at Dharamsala.

Meanwhile, police have made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth passage of the baton.

‘Elaborate security cover has been put in place in the seven districts from where the baton would travel by road,’ Inspector General (Law and Order) S.R. Mardi said.

The baton travelled nearly 170,000 km through nearly 70 Commonwealth countries before arriving in host India for the Games scheduled Oct 3-14 in New Delhi.

Pakistan’s Olympic Association chief Syed Arif Hassan handed over the baton to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, who is also the chairman of the organising committee of Commonwealth Games-2010, at the Attari border in Punjab June 25.

By the end of its journey, the baton would have travelled over 190,000 km, through different modes of transport across land, air and sea, in 340 days. This will make the baton relay 2010 one of the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games is the biggest sporting extravaganza being hosted by India since the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi.

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