Madurai and Virudhunagar district administrations have made elaborate arrangements for the Adi Amavasai festival to be held at Sundara Mahalingam Temple atop Sathuragiri Hills from July 26 to 29.
District Collectors S. Aneesh Sekhar (Madurai) and J. Meghanath Reddy (Virudhunagar), along with officials of various departments held a meeting here on Thursday.
A statement said that devotees would be allowed to trek for 5.5 kms from Thaniparai foothills up to the temple between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. on those four days.
In order to help devotees, special buses would be operated from Rajapalayam, Srivilliputtur, Sivakasi, Sattur, T. Kallupatti, and Madurai.
One-way traffic system has been introduced at Thaniparai to avoid traffic jam.
A temporary bus stand has been set up 5 km head of Thaniparai with separate parking arrangement for autorickshaws, vans, cars and two-wheelers.
However, shuttle bus services would be allowed up to Thaniparai. No entry tickets would be issued for the devotees to enter the temple.
Over 2,000 police personnel would be deployed by Madurai and Virudhunagar police. Besides 50 walkie-talkies, wireless local loop phones and Ham radio would be used for communication in the hilly terrain.
Drinking water and lighting facilities have been provided in the hill area. Similarly, toilet and medical facilities have been set up in Thaniparai and the hilly trail.
Five medical teams would be deployed along the trekking area, Thaniparai and temple. Ambulances would also be available at Thaniparai. Seven fire tenders, 25 commando personnel would be deployed to ensure safety of the devotees.
Additional signages have been set up for guiding devotees to bus stand and parking lots at important junctions in Alagapuri, Maharajapuram, Thaniparai and Watrap.
The statement said that plastic carry bags were banned in the forest area. Devotees would not be allowed to stay in the temple and forest areas during the night.
Round-the-clock bus services would be operated from the temporary bus stand to various parts of Virudhunagar district. However, buses from other areas towards the temple would not be operated during night hours.
Madurai Superintendent of Police R. Shiva Prasad and Usilampatti Revenue Divisional Officer Natarajan, were among those who were present.