Madurai

Plans for bigger crowds at Chithirai festival: Minister

Minister P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan and Mayor Indrani Ponvasanth inspect the preparatory works for Lord Kallazhagar ‘s entry into the Vaigai near A.V. Bridge in ​​Madurai on Saturday.

Minister P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan and Mayor Indrani Ponvasanth inspect the preparatory works for Lord Kallazhagar ‘s entry into the Vaigai near A.V. Bridge in ​​Madurai on Saturday. | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy.

MADURAI

“We should plan for bigger crowds and issues than we expect,” said Minister for Finance and Human Resource Management P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan at a review meeting with the officials of all departments on the preparations for the events of Chithirai festival at the Collectorate here on Saturday.

Earlier, Mr. Thiagarajan and Mayor V. Indrani, Corporation Commissioner K. P. Karthikeyan and Collector S. Aneesh Sekhar inspected the preparatory works in view of the celestial wedding of Lord Sundareswarar with Goddess Meenakshi scheduled to be held on April 14.

He also made a field visit to the site where Kallazhagar enters the Vaigai at Alwarpuram on the northern bank of the river.

Later, Mr. Thiagarajan and Minister for Commercial Taxes and Registration P. Moorthy presided over the review meeting where the former directed that officials to gear up as the festival was bound to attract more number of devotees than the usual numbers since 2019, as the festival will be held after a gap of two years with the public participation.

He urged the officials to stick to a single integrated list of special passes and to be administered only by the Police department. “Even if it is me or of any high cadre without a pass must not be allowed,” he said.

He also suggested the officials to increase the number of LED screens from the proposed 20 to 25 at important public places for live-telecasting the festival events.

Further, Tangedco officials should ascertain if any low-level power supply lines are along the routes of Lord Kallazhagar’s procession and take precautionary measures.

The Minister also asked the Public Work Department officials to ensure sufficient quantity of water is released to flow in the Vagai when Lord Kallazhagar enters the river. Stating the adequate water storage in the Vaigai dam, he suggested that water can be released between April 11 and 16.

Around 4,000 police personnel will be deployed for security duties, to monitor parking and traffic so as to avoid overcrowding etc. Floodlights and watchtowers will be erected at potential crowd gathering places, said Superintendent of Police V. Baskaran.

Mr. Thiagarajan suggested setting up of mobile toilets without charging the public and installing a few nearby parking lots for better access. Around 1,500 sanitation workers would be engaged, said officials.


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 9:58:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madurai/article65306464.ece