With just a day left for the commencement of Dasara Navaratri festival on Indrakeeladri, the district authorities as well as officials of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam are reviewing the arrangements and making last minute changes wherever necessary.

Accompanied by officials of various departments, Animal Husbandry Minister K. Parathasarothy on Thursday morning inspected the ongoing works. He inspected the barricades, bathing ghats, changing rooms, cloakrooms and other facilities being arranged for the pilgrims.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Parthasarothy said there would be no inconvenience to pilgrims visiting the temple during the Dasara festival. Besides arranging shower bath facility at Padmavathi ghat, Krishnaveni ghat and Seetammavari Paadaalu ghat, changing rooms and toilets have also been arranged for the pilgrims.

“Workers of the municipal corporation will be deputed at the bathing ghats and the pilgrim amenities centres round the lock to ensure sanitation. Steps have been initiated to ensure that only those barbers approved by the Devasthanam will be allowed to reach the bathing ghats, so that the problem of private barbers charging exorbitantly can be solved,” he said.

On other arrangements, the Minister said that ‘Annadanam’ would be arranged for about 5,000 pilgrims a day on the premises of Sringeri Peetham in Arjuna Veedhi. On ‘Moola Nakshtram’ day (September 25), ‘Annadanam’ would be provided to 6,500 pilgrims. After inspecting the arrangements for the poor-feeding, Mr. Parthasarothy asked the contractor to provide mineral water to pilgrims who avail themselves of the facility of ‘Annadanam.’

Waterproof tents

He said waterproof tents would be arranged above queue lines to protect the pilgrims from heat and possible rain. “The work of widening of Arjuna Veedhi will be completed by Friday at any cost. The contractor has been asked to use quick mix to complete the road works,” he said.

The Minister asserted there would be no shortage of ‘prasadam’ during the festival days, as arrangements were being made to prepare laddus based on the pilgrim rush. He asked the officials to make arrangements for selling prasadams at bus station and railway station too. “So that we can avoid unnecessary rush at the counters here,” he said.

Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu, Vijayawada Sub-Collector B.L. Chennakesava Rao, Municipal Commissioner P.S. Pradyumna, Temple Executive Engineer K.V.S.R. Koteswara Rao, Vijayawada Urban Tahsildar Ch. Ramesh Babu and other officials were present.

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