A day after a stampede at the gates of the Pushkar Ghat in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said all the loopholes in the crowd management systems at the Godavari Maha Pushkaram had been addressed to make it safe and secure for pilgrims.
In an informal interaction with The Hindu on Wednesday, after he had conducted a midnight review of systems at the Pushkaram ghats, Mr. Naidu said, “From Wednesday, I will sit in the Central Control Room and monitor the situation myself to ensure that pilgrims are redirected from crowded ghat to less crowded ones. ”
Asked for his reaction to the criticism by Opposition parties there was a pilgrim build-up behind the gates of Pushkar Ghat on the morning of Tuesday while VIPs performed their rituals, Mr. Naidu said he and his family completed the rituals soon after the beginning of the Pushkaram, as per the auspicious time fixed by the pandits. What led to the stampede was a sudden and unanticipated surge of pilgrims from three directions, particularly from Godavari railway station side, which led to a crush at the gates.