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March 7 Attukal Pongala: food safety high on priority list

Approval of the Food Safety department to be compulsory for food items distributed by voluntary organisations

January 25, 2023 08:13 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:44 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

A review meeting on Wednesday decided to put in place elaborate measures for ensuring food safety during the Attukal Pongala festival to be held on March 7.

The approval of the Food Safety department will be compulsory for food items distributed by voluntary organisations.

The Police department will conduct inspections to ensure compliance, it was decided at the meeting led by Minister for Transport Antony Raju and Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty.

Steps will be taken to prevent distribution of food in unhygienic conditions. The Food Safety department will deploy special squads to carry out inspections in hotels, temporary eateries, and collect food and water samples for quality checks.

Mr. Sivankutty said measures would be in place to prevent unauthorised collection of money for the festival. The unauthorised use of the title ‘Attukal Festival Committee’ also would be prevented, he said.

The police would make arrangements for the parking of vehicles. Illegally parked vehicles would be removed. For ensuring the safety of the pilgrims, additional surveillance cameras would be installed. The temple and its environs would be under round-the-clock surveillance.

A decision was taken to complete the repairs of the roads and street lamps in the festival zone on a war-footing. Trees that pose a danger would be removed.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would conduct chain services for the pilgrims.

Mayor Arya Rajendran, Deputy Mayor P.K. Raju, chairpersons of the standing committees of the corporation, District Collector Geromic George, Sub Collector Aswathy Srinivas who is the nodal officer for the Pongala, City Police Commissioner C. H. Nagaraju, ADM Anil Jose J., and Attukal Temple officials attended the meeting.

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