MANGALURU: The acute water crisis, as well as a plea to devotees to avoid travelling to Dharmasthala, 75km away from Mangaluru, seems to have had no effect on the number of visitors. On Friday, the temple management had appealed to devotees to postpone their visit for a few days.The 800-year-old temple is facing an acute shortage of water, along with the rest of the Dakshina Kannada district.
On Saturday, Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade made the startling revelation that the temple may run out of water to perform ‘abhisheka.’ Keeping in mind the number of water devotees require, he urged pilgrims to postpone their visits until the crisis ends. The water level at the ‘thirtha gundi’, used for abhisheka, has dropped alarmingly.
On Sunday, district in-charge minister U T Khader said the state government would provide all necessary aid to the temple. Hoteliers forced to switch to banana leaves The water crisis in the district has forced several hoteliers to switch to alternatives. Following the crisis, some hotels have started serving food on banana leaves.
Raghavendra Rao, owner of Hotel Swagat, said they took this decision after the water rationing system was revised. “We replaced plates with banana leaves a week ago due to the water shortage. We need at least two tankers of water (12,000 litres) per day. By introducing leaves, we are saving at least 6,000 litres of water. We are planning to use banana leaves permanently.”
The customers too aren’t complaining. “It’s our tradition. Having meals on banana leaves saves a lot of water and also reduces required manpower,” said a customer. DK Hotel Owners’ Association president Kudpi Jagadeesh Shenoy said banana leaves are good for health and eateries must switch to such alternatives until the water problem is solved.