Joint meeting of Tamil Nadu and Kerala officials held in Thekkadi

Idukki and Theni district administrations have agreed to work jointly and make all arrangements for the Chitra Pournami festival scheduled on April 25 at Sri Mangaladevi Kannagi Temple on Western Ghats bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

This decision was taken at a special meeting of officials of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in Thekkadi on Saturday evening in connection with the festival.

While Kerala police would take care of security arrangements, Tamil Nadu police would assist them in providing adequate protection to pilgrims from both the States.

The forest road would be opened at 5 a.m. in Thekkadi and closed at 3 p.m. Devotees on the temple presmises in the Western Ghats must depart before 5 p.m.

Two priests, each representing Tamil Nadu and Kerala will conduct pujas. Adequate water supply would be made available on the forest path and on the temple premises. Basic amenities and other facilities would also be provided.

Pilgrims should not take banned polythene bags, plastic bottles and aluminium foil papers into the forest area. However, they would be allowed to carry water in five litre cans.

Smoking is strictly prohibited in forest area. Loud speakers and bursting of crackers were also strictly prohibited. Pilgrims should not use two wheelers to reach the hill temple, officers cautioned.

Kerala health officials agreed to provide a cardiologist at the special medical camp in the temple.