Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Sunday said discussions are on with priests concerned regarding finding an alternative place of worship for Athi Varadar at Sri Devarajaswami temple in Kancheepuram.
Talking to mediapersons in Salem, Mr. Palaniswami said, “Respective department Ministers, secretaries and DGP held discussions with gurukals of the temple yesterday (Saturday). The gurukals of the temple are being consulted regarding shifting the place of worship of Athi Varadar. All necessary steps would be taken by the government to ensure safe and pleasant darshan for devotees at the temple.”
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said that the State government was keen on ensuring that common pilgrims had a hassle-free darshan of Athi Varadar.
Mr. Shanmugam, who visited Kancheepuram along with Director General of Police J.K. Tripathy on Saturday and Sunday to make an on-the-spot assessment of arrangements for devotees, told The Hindu that it had been decided to allow VIP darshan generally during lean hours of the day so that movement of people having free darshan remained smooth. Besides, VIP passes would carry the date and time. “We are also requesting VIPs to come to the temple only during lean hours,” he said.
As for online booking, the temple authorities have been given the flexibility to decide the number of devotees, depending upon the situation.
On Sunday, Mr. Shanmugam addressing the press said home guards were being drafted to distribute food in three shifts to devotees waiting in queue.
Additional conservancy workers would be brought in from other districts to ensure cleanliness. “Seating arrangements will be made for senior citizens and differently-abled waiting in the queue,” he said.