The City Police have planned elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the annual Attukal Pongala offering on Sunday. Instructions to tighten the security arrangements for the festival were given to all the police personnel.
As many as 3,000 policemen and 600 women constables would be deployed for the festival. These policemen will be under two SPs and 18 DySPs. As many as 40 circle inspectors and more than 200 SIs and ASIs will also be deployed. Surveillance cameras and closed-circuit televisions would be installed to monitor the crowd movement and the places in and around the temple during the Pongala offering.
As part of the security, a 24-hour control room manned by senior police officials will be opened in the temple. In addition to the fixed surveillance cameras, mobile videographers will also be employed during the Pongala to check any attempt at theft or molestation.
The police would also ensure the security of the pilgrims who arrive at the temple during the festival period, especially the women who reach for offering the Pongala. The volunteers of the NSS units of various colleges are being given training to manage the queue.
Like all previous years the police have directed those willing to contribute food to the pilgrims to register their names with the local police station. They have also been asked not to force the pilgrims to drink water and buttermilk.
‘108’ ambulance service will be made available during the Pongala offering. Arrangements have also been made for obtaining the services of the doctors at General Hospital in case of any emergency. The police have also urged the devotees coming in vehicles to take care to leave ample space for the emergency vehicles such as ambulances and that of police and other authorities to pass.
Women offering the Pongala must avoid wearing nylon clothes, which make it difficult to give first aid if the person sustains burns from the Pongala hearth. The officials have also said that wearing gold and other valuable ornaments should be avoided.