A new and upgraded visitors’ gallery at the Attari retreat ceremony area, which can hold as many as 25,000 people, along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab will be inaugurated on Wednesday, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The Attari-Wagah retreat area, about 30-kms from Amritsar, is popular for the foot-stomping flag lowering ceremony conducted every evening by the border guards of the two countries and is witnessed by thousands of people on both the sides.
BSF Director General (DG) K K Sharma will inaugurate the new U-shaped gallery tomorrow and it can hold about 25,000 people, as compared to 600 in the past, and will have better seating and viewing arrangements, the official said.
He said the BSF chief will witness the retreat ceremony but any ceremonial meeting with Pakistan Rangers officials during the event is ruled out given the recent incident of shooting and slitting the throat of a jawan of the border guarding force in Jammu recently.
The new gallery will have multiple entry and exit points, more toilets and over two dozen smart CCTV cameras for as part of the enhanced logistics and security arrangements on the Indian side of the retreat area in Attari.
A good number of stands in the gallery have also been provided with roof shelters that will help in keeping people safe from sunlight and rains, he said.
The gallery will also sport two new video walls, space for creation of a museum and a medical facility, they added.
The new facilities have been created after the Union Home Ministry sanctioned a budget of over Rs 30 crore to the Border Security Force for these works, they said.
The ceremony ends with the BSF and Pakistan Rangers ceremonially taking out their respective national flags and forcefully shutting the gates on the either side.