New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: For a first time in 34 years, the Haryana government has decided to cancel the annual Surajkund Mela amid fears over coronavirus pandemic. The state government, however, has said that it will review the situation in April this year and "explore other possibilities" to hold the annual fair.

"If the situation improves in the coming days, the tourism department will organise the fair," The Times of India quoted Rajesh Joon, nodal officer of Surajkund Mela, as saying.

However, the Haryana government's decision to cancel the Surajkund Mela 2021 has left the artisans disappointed who have appealed Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to support them via online marketing. 

The artisans have also expressed hopes that the Haryana government will organise the fair later this year with all necessary COVID-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The Surajkund International Crafts Mela is generally organised by the Haryana government at Surajkund which is on the outskirts of Delhi in February. Last year, the annual fair was themed on Himachal Pradesh and showed the state's rich heritage and culture.

Coronavirus in Haryana:

Meanwhile, Haryana on Thursday reported 69 new COVID-19 cases and one fatality. In its daily bulletin, the state government said that 104 people recovered from the infection on Wednesday, taking the state's recovery rate to 98.48 per cent.

As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, active COVID-19 cases in Haryana stand at 1,019 while more than 2.64 lakh people have recovered from the deadly pathogen. The doubling rate, meanwhile, stands at 121 days in Haryana.

On Wednesday, the state government began the second phase of COVID-19 vaccines in Haryana. Haryana National Health Mission Director Prabhjot Singh said the frontline workers include employees of police, Revenue Department, panchayati raj institutions, jail, home guard and urban local bodies department.

"So far, about 1,10,000 frontline workers have been registered for the second phase on the portal," he said, as reported by news agency PTI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma