Have the thousands of devotees, who came here from several far-away places, experienced their last free holy dip in the Krishna river? But, this is the doubt that is being planted in the minds of the pilgrims who had come to take a dip in the river on the holy and auspicious day of Maha Sivaratri here on Monday.

Activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) appraisd pilgrims who came to take a dip in the river of the “danger” to the Bhavani Island and the waters of Krishna. The CPI(M) has been saying that holiday resort, spa and swimming pool that were proposed on the Bhavani Island would be a major source of pollution to the Prakasam Barrage tail pond from which two municipalities and thousands of villages draw drinking water and farmers cultivate 13 lakh acres in four districts.

The CPI(M) has been spearheading an agitation against the AP Tourist Development Corporation proposal to lease out for 33 years the island to private firms.

Party State executive member Ch. Babu Rao said that in this novel signature campaign the party activists were telling the pilgrims the danger of the island being handed over to a corporate firm and that they would have to pay a fee from next time to take a dip in the river.