Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the government will ensure a permanent review and monitoring system for the smooth conduct of the Attukal Pongala festival and the development of the region as a whole.
Talking to mediapersons after visiting the temple here late on Sunday, Mr. Chandy said the review system would be put in place soon after Tuesday’s event.
Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar will assess the proceedings within a week of the festival.
Drawbacks will be identified and conveyed to the government so as to make rectifications well in advance for next year’s festival. Mr. Chandy said it was the duty of the government to ensure facilities to the tens of thousands of people, particularly women, who throng the area for the festival.
A detailed project report and master plan for the comprehensive development of the Attukal region, comprising 29 wards of the Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation, had already been entrusted to TRIDA. This would aim at development of roads leading to the region, basic infrastructure, and the cleaning and renovation of the Killi River.
The project, termed ‘Attukal special scheme’ by Mr. Chandy, would aim at the long-term development of the region and the temple festival.
The review and monitoring system, which will involve public representatives, representatives of all political parties and other stakeholders of the festival, would be more focused on day-to-day affairs there.
The State government had allotted Rs.5 crore in the previous budget for the Attukal master plan while this year, Rs.12 crore had been set aside, Mr. Chandy said.
Mr. Chandy also heard complaints from local leaders on the pollution and encroachment of the Kili River affecting the festivities.
Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar and senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran were among those who accompanied the Chief Minister on the visit.