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Is Srirangam ready for Cauvery Pushkaram?

Even as devotees prepare for the Cauvery Pushkaram that begins on September 12, it is alleged that the district administration and Tiruchi Corporation are yet to take steps to provide basic amenities at Srirangam.

Cauvery Pushkaram, where devotees worship Cauvery, takes place once in 12 years and it attracts hundreds of devotees across the country mainly from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana to Srirangam.

Srirangam is one among the important places selected along the banks of Cauvery for the festival. Various religious organisations and heads have formed committees to organise the festival for 12 days from September 12 to September 23. The devotees, who come from different parts of the country, are expected to celebrate the Pushkaram in the form homams, pujas, ancestor worship, devotional music, cultural programmes and spiritual discourses.

Although places like Thanjavur, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam and Vailankanni are also expected to receive devotees, it is Srirangam that sees a huge crowd.

According to a hotel owner almost all hotels and lodges have been booked for two weeks from September 12. Yatri Nivas belonging to the Sri Ranganathar Temple has also been fully booked mostly by devotees from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.

Hotels booked

“We have been receiving enquiries for accommodation for two weeks in September. But, we are unable to allot rooms as all rooms in Yatri Nivas have already been booked,” said an official of Sri Ranganathar Temple.

However, a few religious groups in Srirangam are of the view that the district administration, public health authorities and the Tiruchi City Corporation are yet to take steps to provide basic amenities to the devotees.

V. S. Govindan, vice president, Cauvery Pushkaram Committee, Srirangam, said that besides local devotees, at least 30,000 outside pilgrims were expected to take a holy dip in the Cauvery river at Amma Mandapam after performing pujas and homams daily for 12 days. But, the district administration and the Tiruchi City Corporation have not taken the matter seriously.

The Committee had met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in Chennai on Thursday, demanding provision of all facilities to the pilgrims. Moreover, the State government should take steps to ensure water flow in the Cauvery during the festival.

Allaying fears, V. Ravichandran, Special Officer cum Commissioner, Tiruchi Corporation, told The Hindu that there was no data available on the number of devotees who had visited Srirangam during the last Cauvery pushkaram. However, preliminary meetings would shortly be conducted for providing basic amenities to the devotees.

The Corporation would ensure provision of toilets and lighting for all devotees. It would also devise a plan for a cleanliness drive in the area, he said.


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