NAGAPATTINAM: Mayiladuthurai celebrated the arrival of the Cauvery as it flooded Kaveri Thula Kattam on Monday. For the first time in nine years, waters arrived in June.
Hundreds of people in Mayiladuthurai had a festive day as the waters arrived. Kaveri Thula Kattam are the ghat steps people use to take dips during Pushkaram festivals. Crackers were burst and folk artistes dressed as gods and goddesses welcomed the river. Priests and politicians offered grains in 'Poorana Kumbam'
and worshipped the river. "We have worked hard to clean Thula Kattam, removing shards of glass and painting the ghats. The waters have arrived at this time after nine years. It was good to see the festive mood back in Mayiladuthurai," said former Mayiladuthurai MLA J Veerpandiyan, a Kaveri Thula Kattam patron.
Cauvery waters released from Mettur dam on June 12 entered the boundary of Nagapattinam district in Thiruvalangadu (Kuthalam block) in the wee hours of Sunday. It took over 24 hours to travel another 15 km to reach Thula Kattam in Mayiladuthurai town at around 11 am. "The waters took time to reach from Thiruvalangadu to Thula Kattam as there was increased ground percolation on its path to Mayiladuthurai. The discharge is 710 cusecs and this would increase further in upcoming days," said a PWD-WRO official.
The river continued on its course to irrigate the fields in the northern Nagapattinam.
"We request the authorities to keep a watch on miscreants, especially tipplers, who come from wine shops nearby to cause mischief, break glasses and sleep on the ghats. We request for nearby wine shops to be shut," said A Apparsundaram, a social activist As the crowd celebrated, social distancing norms were forgotten and many did not wear masks. They joyfully got drenched in the surging waters in Thula Kattam.
The State government has not given its nod to open places of worship or to convene religious, festive and mass gatherings or take holy dips. Speaking to TNIE, S Buwaneshwaran, Municipal Commissioner, Mayiladuthurai Municipality, said, "Taking dips or large gatherings at Thula Kattam or any other water bodies in places of worship are not allowed."