An impressive effort on the part of the city Corporation over the past three days presented a much cleaner version of a city steeped in a garbage crisis to the thousands of devotees who arrived here to participate in the annual Attukal Pongala festival. On Tuesday night, the momentum was sustained with over 1,600 workers, under the leadership of the civic body’s health officers and inspectors, engaged in a cleaning exercise that began soon after the festivities at 3 p.m.

Ending with a flourish, standing committee chairperson V.S. Padmakumar said they “would create rainfall in front of the Secretariat,” implying that six tanker lorries had been deployed to spray water to clean the roads of all the ash and food that had stained the arterial city road. The initial plan was to wash the length of road until the East Fort area, but the exercise would be carried out depending on how long the water — pumped from ponds under the Corporation’s jurisdiction — would last.

The entire cost of the last-minute city clean-up undertaken entirely by the civic body cost Rs.2 lakh, said officials. On Tuesday, 63 squads scoured the area around the temple and carted off the waste to two locations — Chala, beside the Attakulangara bypass, and Palayam market. Previously, they had planned four centres to dump the garbage, but two sufficed. Over 125 loads of garbage were collected, which weighed 700 tonnes,saidMr. Padmakumar.