Staff Reporter

Encroachments near temple to be removed A total ban on thatched structures will be imposed at the town

PALANI: Elaborate arrangements have been made for conducting the `Thai Poosam' festival scheduled to commence on January 26 at Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple here, said Collector R. Vasuki.

Addressing a meeting convened in this connection here on Thursday, she said that all encroachments in the town near the temple area would be removed on Friday. Reacting to the Palani Municipal Chairman Rajamanickam's request over postponing the encroachment work, she told that all encroachments should be removed immediately. The officials must ensure that no shops or thatched shelters were erected on the four giri veedhis, Thai Poosam car procession route, and around the temple between January 28 and February 1. A total ban on thatched structures would be imposed. Instead, shopkeepers might use tarpaulins as a temporary measure.

An information centre would be established by the Department of Tourism in the town. Special facilities have been made to treat accidents or emergency cases at Dindigul Government Hospital. Those injured during the festival days need not go all the way to Madurai for treatment, she said. The Collector was concerned about the stray pig menace in the town and said action would be taken to eradicate it.

Assistance

To extend assistance to pilgrims, 200 NSS volunteers and NCC cadres would be deployed. All efforts must be taken to make the temple town a plastic-free zone, she said and urged the municipal officials to convene a meeting with hotel and restaurant owners in this connection.

Adequate protection would be provided at Shanmuganadhi and Idumban tank, the holy bathing places. Chlorination of drinking water was a must and a plastic tank must be installed at various places between Oddanchatram and Palani, the Collector said.

Prior permission from the municipality was essential to establish free distribution of buttermilk and food.

Highways officials would create temporary barricades on the Palani-Dindigul highway for the safety of pilgrims.

State Transport Corporation bus crew should be advised to behave with pilgrims in a cordial manner. All buses proceeding to Palani would be diverted at Oddanchatram and pass through Thoppampatti and Kallimandayam to reach Palani, the Collector said.

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