Ghaziabad: All schools and colleges in the district will remain closed from July 26 to 30 due to Kanwar Yatra, officials said on Thursday. Issuing the order, District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said “Shravan Shivratri” will be observed on July 30. “Devotees and Kanwars in excessive numbers are expected to turn out for the festival like previous years. Hence, all primary, secondary schools, including those affiliated to CBSE and ICSE board, degree colleges, engineering, management and medical colleges will remain closed from July 26 to 30,” Pandey said in the written order. The district police and administration officials have been instructed to ensure compliance of the order. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderKanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of Lord Shiva’s devotees known as Kanwars, who visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of the River Ganga during the auspicious Hindu month of Shravan. Security has been beefed up in districts of western Uttar Pradesh like Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Meerut for the annual pilgrimage. Around 8,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure monitoring of the yatra, while drones and helicopters have been arranged for aerial surveillance in the region, Director General of Police O P Singh had told reporters earlier this month while reviewing preparedness for the annual pilgrimage.