With hardly one week left for the offering of the ‘Pongala’ at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple here, the capital city has geared up to receive thousands of devotees flocking to the temple from all parts of the state.
The City Corporation has launched several drives to clean up the city before the festival day and taken measures for the timely disposal of the organic and plastic waste generated that day.
In the previous years, the total garbage generated during the festival had exceeded 10 tonnes. This year, prior to the Pongala, the Corporation has started the cleaning activity in the wards close to the temple by splitting them into various zones.
The first was a mass cleaning activity conducted in the Kamaleswaram ward, a neighbouring area of the temple. The Samagra Sucheekarana Yajnam organised by Kamaleswaram councillor M B Reshmi along with the citizens was inaugurated by V Sivankutty MLA on Sunday with Health Standing Committee chairperson S Pushpalatha as the chief guest. According to Reshmi, as many as 200 local people volunteered in the cleaning drive along with those who were assigned by the Corporation. “In the half-day-long programme, the students of Kamaleswaram school, members of the residents’ associations, factory employees, social workers and Corporation contingency employees cleaned up the roads and premises,” she said.
A review meeting had been convened by Mayor K Chandrika on Thursday to evaluate the arrangements for Pongala.
It was decided that the voluntary organisations that offer food to the devotees during the festival should process the garbage they generate on their own. Plastic disposable cups, plastic and thermocole plates should not be used. Health Officer and other officials were given directions to carry out the cleaning activities in a time-bound manner.
Last year, the waste generated in the 29 wards, which were designated as the festival zone, were taken away in trucks and buried by the City Corporation.