Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) would ensure uninterrupted power supply for the area around Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple during the forthcoming Vaikunta Ekadasi festival, said Jayashree Muralidharan, Collector.

Presiding over the first round of consultative meeting convened at the 1,000-pillar mandapam of the temple to discuss the arrangements for the smooth conduct of festival, the Collector said the temple has six service connections and the six transformers around the temple would be monitored by a team of personnel round the clock. This apart, the TANGEDCO would deploy technical personnel on shifts to ensure proper functioning of 110 kv-capacity sub-station.

Uninterrupted power supply would be ensured throughout the temple area and the surrounding areas up to Ammamandapam during the festival. According to an estimate, about three lakh devotees offered worship to lord Ranganathar in Vaikunta Ekadasi last year. With the festival coinciding with public holidays and falling on December 24 this year, about four lakh devotees are expected to visit the temple during the festival this year.

The Collector advised police officials to issue passes to car owners of Srirangam so that they would be able to move without difficulty. Placards and hoardings showing the direction for entry and exit of vehicles in Tamil, Telugu, and English should be displayed prominently.

Ms.Muralidharan also advised BSNL authorities to enhance the capacity of communication network. “Communication among officials is important for ensuring smooth conduct of the festival. As officials are in the BSNL mobile phone network, additional boosters should be set up for ensuring communication without any technical hitch ,” she said. S.Selvakumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic), said that all buses and vans carrying devotees would be parked at the National School grounds. Traffic exiting the town would be diverted through the road along the Coleroon bank. A total of 3,000 police personnel would be deployed during the festival. Watchtowers would be set up at important places.

Closed circuit television sets would be set up at strategic locations inside the temple and its functioning would be monitored by police personnel at their camp unit near the Ranga Ranga Gopuram. A plan to guide devotees on safety measures through a public address system is under active consideration. S.Kalyani, Joint Commissioner and executive officer of the temple, said that electrical circuits at a few places in the temple would be serviced at an estimate of Rs.4.50 lakh through a donor before December 10, well ahead of the commencement of the Pagalpathu festival.

R.Seshasayee, chairman of board of trustees, said that special permission would be accorded to senior citizens aged above 70 along with an attendant to have darshan at the sanctum sanctorum from 7 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. during the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival. He clarified that this was the first consultative meeting with the officials of various departments and the merits of the arrangements made during the last festival would be carefully evaluated and implemented this year too.

R.Manoharan, MLA, suggested that Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operate free special buses for transporting devotees in the city.