Focus will be on providing adequate drinking water, says Mayor

The Madurai Corporation has allotted Rs. 47.43 lakh for various amenities to be provided during this year’s Chithirai festival which commences on Sunday.

As the city braces itself for a huge influx of devotees and tourists during the period, the civic body has earmarked special funds for health, sanitation and civil works. Based on estimates, the Corporation has allotted Rs.22.43 lakh for public health and Rs.25 lakh towards civil works to be undertaken during the festival.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Corporation Mayor V. V. Rajan Chellappa said that the focus will be on providing adequate drinking water supply, sufficient lighting by enhancing street lights and maintaining sanitation so as to prevent outbreak of any disease.

At crucial spots, 50 water taps will be provided to supply protected drinking water. Drinking water tanks will be kept at 24 places and regular supply of water through water tankers will be maintained. Overhead water tanks are being cleaned and sanitary inspectors have been instructed to ensure chlorination of water that is supplied by the corporation and also in hotels and tea stalls. The Mayor also said that maintenance of public toilets is on the agenda and two mobile toilets would be parked at important places.

For the next 10 days, the Corporation will temporarily engage 170 sanitary staff on daily wages for cleaning works in the southern side of the city. In the northern side of the city, 370 workers have been deployed for seven days on daily wages.

The Corporation has also appointed 20 daily wage labourers for sanitation works to be carried out at Mattuthavani and surrounding areas.

At important places in the city where festivities will take place, the Corporation will focus on sanitation. Ten tonnes of bleaching powder and 2,000 litres of phenyl will be used for this purpose. To ensure food safety, the Corporation has decided to take the assistance of food safety officers. They would inspect places where food items are prepared and at ‘annadhanam’ spots. Medical teams will be kept ready in corporation dispensaries and corporation ambulances would be stationed at important spots were crowds congregate. The Mayor said that lighting would be increased on the Vaigai riverbed and high voltage bulbs will be fitted on streetlamps. He said that water will be released from Vaigai dam on April 20 so as to facilitate the ritual of Lord Kallazhagar entering the river. “We have also requested the electricity department to provide uninterrupted power supply during the Chithirai festival,” he added.

The Corporation is also gearing up for opening of 16 budget canteens (Amma Unavagams) at different places in the city.

Mr. Rajan Chellappa said that the groundwater division of the corporation will dig 400 deep bore wells to overcome water scarcity. Illegal water connections in the city have been removed.

“We are in the process of preparing a long term plan for finding a permanent solution to the water crisis. Since, the population has crossed 16 lakh in Madurai Corporation limits, there has to be an action plan to meet the future requirements”, he said. R. Nanthagopal, Corporation Commissioner, A. Mathuram, City Engineer in-charge and Yasodha Mani, City Health Officer, were among those who were present during the press conference.

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