THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Attukal Pongala on March 11, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has instructed departments to complete preparations well in advance to ensure smooth conduct of the festival. Attempts are on to complete the preparatory works by February end.
The Works Department has been asked to complete the road works by February 28. Considering the scorching summer heat, the Water Authority has been instructed to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water. Though Pongala is on March 11, the festival will begin on March 3. Considering this, works have to be completed by the month end.
The Devaswom Minister is in touch with the temple trust to oversee the preparations. At a review meeting held at Attukal temple, the Chief Minister directed the collector, mayor and the trust chairman to work in tandem to ensure proper facilities to the pilgrims.
Speaking at the review meeting, Mayor V K Prasanth said 29 tankers have been engaged for distribution of drinking watery. In addition to the existing 1,000 workers, 2,000 workers will be deployed for cleaning work. Green Protocol will be followed during the festival. There will be 4 ambulance services operational. Also, the works in 31 wards will be completed on time.
A volunteer force with special women officers would be deployed for crowd control, said ADGP B Sandhya. She demanded proper lighting arrangements for monitoring.
The KSRTC will operate special services from city depots to Attukal during the festival.
The Health Department will post a paediatrician on 24-hour duty to ensure necessary medical care for the children participating in the Kuthiyottam ritual. As many as six medical centres and oxygen parlours will be opened in the city to provide emergency medical care.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran directed top officials to be present on the Pongala day. Local Self-Government Minister K T Jaleel and deputy mayor Rakhi Ravikumar attended the meeting.