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Bookings full in Yatri Nivas, Srirangam hotels Ahead of Vaikunta Ekadasi festival

ROOMS in hotels and the State-run Yatri Nivas are fully booked for the next one month on account of annual Vaikunta Ekadasi festival at the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple scheduled to begin from December 7. At least two kith devotees are expected to converge on the town during the 22-day festivities. Officials from several departments including Fire and Rescue Service and Health are busy making arrangements to ensure devotees are not put to inconvenience.

Vaikunta Ekadesi festival is celebrated over 22 days in the full lunar cycle. During the festival, the processional deity Namperumal is brought out-side the sanctum  for darshan. The most important ritual is the opening of Paramapatha vasal on December 18. With all the preparatory works nearing completion in the temple, police and 108 ambulance service are also taking measures to handle the huge footfall that would land in Srirangam.

P Jayaraman, Joint Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment of Srirangam temple, told Ex-press, 'Around two to three lakh devotees from across the nation are expected to visit Srirangam to participate in the festival. For crowd control, extra barricades have been placed in the temple. Officials from other temples have been deputed to Srirangam for assisting in handling the large number of visitors." A help-desk manned by officials fluent in English, Hindi and Telugu is being set up. Around 500 CCTV cameras are fixed at vantage positions in and outside the temple for effective surveillance. Police are expected to fix more cameras for additional public safety "The police will be monitoring the traffic movement. We are planning to arrange the park-ing facility at least in three places. We will take all the necessary measures to arrange sufficient parking facilities," said sources. An ambulance service official said vehicles will be stationed at strategic points in Srirangam. Aside from the regular ambulances, two bike ambulances will be kept ready near the temple to provide medical aid for the devotees. Similarly, fire engines would be placed near the temple for precautionary measures in case of a tire breakout.

An official working in the state-run Yatri Nivas said all rooms were completely booked till the end of December especially for Vaikunta Ekadesi festival Similarly, most of the hotels in Srirangam are fully booked. lb keep a watch on food hy-giene, Dr R Chita, district designated officer of the Food Safe-ty department, said, "We will be deputing foodsafety officials to Srirangam for inspecting all the eateries, shops and edible products brought by people from other states to avert any health issues. We will also be inspecting the place to prevent use of polythene bags."

On its part, the Tiruchy City Corporation has temporarily recruited about 200 sanitation workers to ensure cleanliness in Srirangam. "We have ar-ranged mobile toilets, medical camps and about 200 workers. Our officials are already monitoring arrangements," said Corporation Commissioner N Ravichandran. Around 50 plastic tanks will be placed to cater to drinking water needs and a special team will monitor hygiene standards. Teams would be deployed in mosquito control activities.
source: new indianexpress. com/c/34629702 

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