Rain turns weather conducive to jeep rally
BAHAWALPUR, Feb 16: The pleasant change in weather brought about by the unexpected rain before dawn on Saturday morning in the vast desert of Cholistan proved a blessing not only for drivers participating in the 8th Cholistan jeep rally but also for desert dwellers.
The drizzle began in the midnight and continued intermittently in the morning. Although rally participants passed their night in their camping tents around the historic site of Derawar Fort, they felt relaxed over the weather conditions conducive to their adventurous sport.
The rain also helped the Cholistani people fill their ponds or “tobas” with rainwater which can provide drinking water facilities to them as well to their cattle for a long period.
According to reports reaching here from the rally site, the qualifying round was held on Saturday in which 55 drivers participated.
Nadir Magsi (a minister of Sindh and last year’s winner) won the qualifying round.
The flag-off ceremony, the main event of the rally, would be held on Sunday (today).
At least 12 check posts have been established along the rally route while some of participating club members have arranged makeshift automobile workshops along the route to provide mechanics in case of breakdown of vehicles.
The prize-distribution ceremony for winners is expected to be held late on Sunday night.
The atmosphere in the open desert and outside the Derawar Fort gave a spectacular view at night due to exquisite illumination.
The night was dominated with the holding of a variety programme for the entertainment of participants and the general public.
The law enforcing agencies took strict security measures in the area to avoid any untoward incident.
However, the rain caused a great deal of inconvenience to thousands of devotees of Mela Channan Pir.
Although devotees stayed under the shamianas temporarily erected by them, a majority of them preferred to leave the venue after the completion of the ritual of their “mannat.”