Breaking with tradition, it will be IT Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah and not Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy who will be inaugurating the annual ‘Numaish’ this time. Given the frayed tempers over the Telangana issue, the Exhibition Society appears to have decided against inviting the CM for the inaugural on New Year’s Day.

However, Exhibition Society president and Minister K. Jana Reddy sought to play down the issue saying there was no way the CM would refuse an invite. “But we have not invited him as we wanted to give the opportunity to a Minister,” Mr. Reddy said.

Mr. Lakshmaiah will formally inaugurate the 74 All India Industrial Exhibition at 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

A major attraction would be the Hyderabad Metro Rail stall. Visitors can get a first-hand experience of how the Metro coach would look like. They can also learn of the routes of the elevated rail and other such details.

Mr. Reddy said funds generated during the 46-day exhibition were being utilised for supporting the 18 educational institutions being run by the Society. Last year, the Society netted Rs. 10 crore and this time it expected to earn much more.

Live video screening would be done daily and one could watch the same on the internet and for this special PTZ cameras are being used. A new CC road had been laid from Gandhi Bhavan Gate to Ajanta Gate to reduce dust pollution, said Ashwin Margam, honorary secretary. Black topping was done on existing roads and interlocking tiles were laid in the exhibition grounds.

About 200 watch and ward staff, apart from the police, would provide security. Fire safety measures were also being taken to meet any untoward incident. Glow sign maps of the ground were put up to indicate the directions to various utilities and shopping areas.

Kamineni Hospitals would offer health services at affordable rates at the exhibition, which would remain open exclusively for women on January 7. ‘Children’s Day’ would be held on January 31 and the ‘Baby Show’ in the first week of February.

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