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Dry Cauvery takes sheen off ‘Aadi Perukku’



The dry Cauvery, reflecting the prolonged drought and poor storage in the Mettur dam, dampened the spirit of ‘Aadi Perukku’ festivities in Delta districts on Thursday.

The Amma Mandapam bathing ghat in Srirangam, one of the focal points of ‘Aadi Perukku,’ usually reverberates with celebrations by hundreds of devotees, right from dawn to dusk on the day. Colourful atmosphere prevails with devotees flocking from different parts of the city. Usually, devotees vie with each other to find space to spread banana leaves on the banks of the Cauvery river to perform pujas to the Mother Cauvery as a mark of gratitude to the river for sustaining their livelihood.

But, with no water flow in the Cauvery, Amma Mandapam saw just a few devotees, including some women and newly wedded couples. The water sprinklers set up by the Tiruchi City Corporation were the main source for taking bath. Devotees had to be content with taking a shower under the sprinklers rather than having a dip in the river.

Similar was the situation at Ayyalamman, Odathurai and Chinthamani bathing ghats. Newly wedded couples, who were accompanied by their family members, performed pujas in the small pools of stagnant water dotting a few parts of the river. The newly wedded couples chose to let their garlands float in the meagre flow of water mixed with sewage.

“I cannot imagine ‘Aadi Perukku’ without water flow. The dry Cauvery has taken away the sheen and happiness associated with the festival. We are forced to depend on stagnant water for offering pujas,” said R. Sivakumar of Nagamangalam near Manikandam.

“I am a regular visitor to the Cauvery on ‘Aadi Perukku’ since I got married in 1998. I am really disappointed to see only a handful of people this year. Most people preferred to conduct the pujas in their homes itself,” says S. Mala of Sangiliandapuram.

However, a large number of people visited Mukkombu, a popular picnic spot, near here to celebrate ‘Aadi Perukku.’

Meanwhile, seven members of the farmers wing of Tamil Maanila Congress, led by Puliyur A.Nagarajan, president of the wing, who attempted to pay “tearful homage to the dry Cauvery as the Central and State governments have failed to get water in the river,” were taken into preventive custody by the police. They were later released in the evening. Mr. Nagarajan condemned the police for taking them into custody as they had planned only a peaceful assembly

Source:http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/dry-cauvery-robs-sheen-off-aadi-perukku-festivities/article19423581.ece

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