Authorities have cancelled Sunday-Funday event at Hyderabad's Tank Bund as a precautionary measure in view of Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 reported in few countries.
Arvind Kumar, special chief secretary, urban development, government of Telangana, announced on Wednesday that there will be no Sunday-Funday on December 5.
"In view of the uncertainties regarding Omicron coronavirus variant & as a matter of abundant precaution, the Sunday-Funday event shall not be held this Sunday i.e. Dec 5," tweeted the official.
"However, the Tank Bund will be vehicle-free as usual on Sunday," he added.
This is the first public event to be cancelled by authorities in Telangana ever since the emergence of Omicron in South Africa and some other countries, sparking fears of a new wave of the pandemic.
Though no case of Omicron has been reported yet in Telangana or any other part of the country, the health authorities have sounded an alert.
Stepping up surveillance at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here, the health department started screening all passengers arriving from 12 'at-risk' countries from Wednesday.
Tank Bund, the most popular hangout place on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of Hyderabad, has been witnessing carnival every Sunday evening for the last three months.
Following suggestions from citizens, minister for municipal administration and urban development K.T. Rama Rao had directed the officials in August to make Tank Bund traffic free during evening hours every Sunday so that people can enjoy the evening on the banks of the picturesque lake.
The programme was launched on August 29 and it became an instant hit as a large number of families started thronging the landmark.
Later, on the advice of the minister, activities like arts, crafts and music were added.
On the request of Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, the authorities started a similar programme at historic Charminar in the old city from October 17.
Cultural, arts and crafts activities are being conducted as part of the event named 'Ek shaam Charminar ke naam' between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sundays.