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Cauvery presents a sordid sight

After the Maha Pushkaram, clothes and garbage can be seen strewn at the Ammamandapam ghat

The much-hyped Cauvery Maha Pushkaram that began on September 11 came to an end with a large number of devotees thronging Srirangam on Saturday. But the 12-day festival has left behind a sordid picture at the Ammamandapam bathing ghat on the banks of the Cauvery thanks to indiscriminate dumping of clothes and the absence of any mechanism to remove the garbage.

The festival was said to have attracted more than two lakh devotees. Most of them were from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Besides taking part in pujas and homams, the devotees invariably preferred to take a holy dip in the Cauvery river.

A visit to the Ammamandapam bathing ghat on Sunday revealed the picture of neglect on the banks of Cauvery.

Saris and dhoties discarded by men and women as a mark of fulfilment of their vows, flowers, fruits, garlands, plastic bags, water bottles, banana leaves and other articles were seen strewn at various points.

Due to the absence of sufficient dustbins and storage points, the devotees had left the clothes and other items in the river after performing the religious rites.

Adding to this was the visit of hundreds of people to the Ammamandapam on the occasion of Mahalaya Amavasai, which was observed a few days ago.

These devotees also had discarded their cloths after performing rites to their ancestors.

Locals observed that though the sanitary workers of Tiruchi City Corporation worked well on the first few days of the Cauvery Pushkaram in keeping the environment neat and clean, they had not shown much interest in cleaning the surroundings in and around Ammamandapam during the last leg of the festival.

S. Gowri of Cantonment in Tiruchi, who took a holy dip on the last day of the Cauvery Pushkaram in the river on Saturday along with her family members, said that they had to wade through decaying waste materials and discarded clothes in the water while taking a holy dip.

The devotees said that besides carrying out massive cleaning on the banks of Cauvery by involving sanitary workers and volunteers, the Tiruchi City Corporation should work out a specific plan to see that the devotees do not discard clothes in the river.

Periodic cleaning drive should be organised to improve cleanliness along the river bank. Sufficient number of dustbins should be placed at various locations, the devotees felt.


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