Elaborate arrangements will be put in place for the Attukal Pongala to be held in February next year, Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar said here on Friday.
The Minister held a meeting with top officials of various government departments, City Corporation councillors and senior police officers on Friday to assess the preparedness for the festival. Attukal Pongala is the largest annual gathering of women in the world for a religious purpose.
The Minister directed the councillors to ensure completion of development works in their respective wards in a time-bound manner. Corporation officials assured the Minister that garbage will be cleared in partnership with temple officials.
The Electricity Department will replace all defunct street lights with sodium vapour lamps and additional transformers will be set up, Sivakumar said.
Water Authority will install 800 new taps and lay a pipe connection from Iranimuttam to Attukal. With this, the drinking water shortage in the area will be solved to a great extent, the Minister said. This is in addition to 30 water tanks to be installed by the Revenue Department. The Public Works Department will repair roads in 20 Corporation wards where devotees are expected to gather in large numbers.
Besides these, more aid posts and CCTV cameras will be installed in the area. The Health Department will deploy five ambulances and two medical teams for the pilgrims. Railways have decided to run special trains and allot more stops for the benefit of Attukal pilgrims.
Another meeting to evaluate the progress of these works will be chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the second week of January, Sivakumar said.