Considered the world’s largest annual congregation of women for a religious function, the city is all set to welcome this year’s Attukal Pongala. Elaborate arrangements have been made for Sunday, on which the ritual of offering ‘Pongala’ will be conducted.
The arrangements have been put in place in association with various government departments for the smooth conduct of the function and enable all women devotees coming from various parts of the state, neighbouring Tamil Nadu and also abroad to offer Pongala, said chairman and secretary of the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust K P Ramachandran Nair and M Radhakrishnan Nair respectively at a press conference here on Thursday.
According to the Trust, the City Corporation will be responsible for the timely removal and treatment of the huge amount of garbage that will be generated on the temple premises and in the city during the festival day. They said that the waste materials will be carted away to pre-identified spots and will be buried there. However, they refused to divulge where the garbage would be buried.
Taking into account the unexpected water disruption that happened during the previous Pongala owing to multiple pipe-bursts, steps have been taken to enhance the number of water tanks and distribution centres to avoid shortage. The City Corporation has arranged as many as eight water lorries and 25 water tanks.
The City Corporation, CRPF and KWA volunteers have been assigned with the duty of the timely refilling of water tanks. Special arrangements will be made for the distribution of drinking water inside the temple walls to the devotees gathered at the main entrance and the ‘nada.’ The ‘nadapanthal’ area will be divided into three zones and volunteers belonging to the Sai Seva Trust, the Ayyappa Seva Trust and the Temple Trust will be positioned with the duty of water distribution.
The Trust has demanded that the Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the Southern Railway should operate special services for devotees to the temple on the festival days. It has also asked the KSRTC to operate special long-distance services along with the chain services.
Four special trains will be run between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam and all trains coming from the northern side of Kerala will have stops at more stations, they said.
When asked about the toilet facilities, the Trust office-bearers said that there are 50 new and 35 old toilets along with temporary toilets and mobile toilets around the temple and on the parking ground. As many as 35 mobile toilets will be deployed in areas where people are expected to crowd. Mobile toilets will be deployed near the Gandhi Park at East Fort also.
The police will impose traffic restrictions in the capital city from Sunday morning to facilitate the arrival and departure of vehicles bringing devotees for the Pongala.
The Trust chairman also said that steps would be initiated for granting land to a police station at Attukal, which was announced by Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, once the festival is over.
Air, Sound Pollution Check
T’Puram: Three more air-monitoring stations will be opened at Killipalam, Overbridge and Manacaud for assessing the air quality during Attukal Pongala, the Environmental Engineer said. This will take the number of stations to seven. Environment officials are also planning to install noise pollution measuring devices this time.