Temple trust expects thousands of devotees to offer Pongala on Sunday

All arrangements have been put in place for the Attukal Pongala festival on February 16.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Attukal Temple Trust officials said around 40 lakh devotees were expected to offer Pongala to the presiding deity of the temple within a six-kilometre radius of the temple.

Preparations for the offering would begin at 10.30 a.m. that day. The ‘Nivedyam’ would be at 2.30 p.m.

More than 1,000 priests would be present for sprinkling of the ‘theertha’, while 936 persons would participate in the ‘Kutthiyottam’ rituals by various groups. The Purathezhunnallippu procession would have around 10 art forms and floats with the Attukal Bhagavathi’s ‘thidambu’ (replica) to be carried by the elephant Pampady Rajan.

Temporary taps

As for the other arrangements, trust chairman K.P. Ramachandran Nair said the Kerala Water Authority had already installed 2,000 temporary taps for supply of water while the Sai Bhakti Sangham, the Aiyyapa Sevan Sangham, and the temple trust would handle supply of drinking water.

More than 2,000 police personnel, including about 1,500 women personnel, would be on duty on Sunday. Surveillance cameras had been installed at several vantage points along the roads to the temple and on the temple premises as well to relay live visuals to the police control rooms. As many as 85 temporary toilets had been installed on the temple premises while mobile toilet facilities would be arranged in various parts of the city.

Waste disposal

Mr. Nair and trust secretary Jyothish Kumar said the Corporation had made arrangements for disposal of waste, with the collection of waste to begin simultaneously at six points on Sunday. The waste, primarily comprising ashes and mud, would be disposed of in the fields owned by the temple trust.

The Pollution Control Board’s environmental engineer said that seven air monitoring stations would be operated to measure atmospheric air quality.

The stations would include one each at Killipalam, Manacaud and Overbridge apart from four other stations of the PCB.

These would be apart from arrangements to monitor the decibel levels the same day.

The KSEB, meanwhile, has issued instructions asking devotees to maintain a safe distance from transformers, to be wary of low-lying electric lines, to inform authorities if any such were noticed, to avoid Pongala stoves being set up near generators installed for illuminations, and to avoid haphazard illuminations on spots that might trigger electric shocks.