As it precedes Pongal holidays, the district administration anticipates higher turnout than that of last year
An estimated seven lakh devotees from across the country are expected to offer worship at Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple on January 11, 2014, on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi, said Jayashree Muralidharan, Collector. Presiding over a consultative meeting held here on Wednesday with officials and the public, the Collector said that this time, the festival is followed by Pongal holidays. The Collector advised the officials to double the arrangements and deploy additional personnel for providing basic amenities to the devotees.
The Collector said the free meal distribution will be regulated. Although it was a welcome measure that devotees and philanthropists come forward to supply free food to the devotees, the district administration had a responsibility of ensuring its hygiene.
She advised A. Ramakrishnan, Designated Food Safety Officer, attached to the office of the Deputy Director of Health Services, to permit ‘annadhanam’ only after obtaining prior permission. Persons interested in distributing annadhanam should contact 9843080106 or 0431-2333330.
R. Manoharan, Government Whip, suggested that the stretch on the Ammamandapam Road between the police station and the rajagopuram should be widened so as to facilitate two-way traffic. All encroachments should be cleared.
He said that this proposal was mooted last year. Mr. Manoharan advised Tiruchirapalli City Corporation Commissioner V. P. Thandapani to complete the drainage work being executed on the Gandhi Road well ahead of the festival. Mr. Thandapani replied that the work would be expedited and would be completed within a week’s time.
He said the corporation, based on the years’ experience, would provide round-the-clock drinking water supply through 51 water tanks. While temporary toilets would be set up at important places, the existing 28 toilets would be maintained properly. The corporation would organise health camps at four places in and around the temple, he added.
Srirangam would become a plastic-free zone all through the festival. The corporation had identified 51 places where the plastics would be collected. This apart, 10 mobile collection units would be pressed into service.