All arrangements are in place at Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple in Tiruvannamalai for the ‘Karthigai Deepam’ festival.
The temple authorities and the district administration have taken all-out efforts to ensure smooth conduct of the 10-day festival as a huge turnout of devotees is expected on the occasion.
The flag hoisting is scheduled for December 1 and the car festival will be held on December 7. The ‘kodiyetram’, marking the beginning of the festival, will take place at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday.
The district administration is taking various measures to manage the crowd and provide required amenities for the devotees.
A meeting to discuss the arrangements for the event was held in Tiruvannamalai, on Thursday last, with officials of various department. The temple authorities, officials of police, health, revenue, highways and transport departments were instructed to ensure safe darshan for the devotees.
Tiruvannamalai Collector K.S. Kandasamy said, “As the annual ‘Karthigai mahadeepam’ will be celebrated on December 10, we are expecting 30 lakh devotees for the 10-day festival. The festival will begin with the flag hoisting on December 1 between 5.30 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. The ‘Bharani Deepam’ and ‘Mahadeepam’ will be lit at 4 a.m. and 6 p.m. respectively on December 10.”
He said that more than 8,000 policemen would be deployed for bandobust duty. As many as 600 CCTV cameras would be installed in the temple and the girivalam path.
A special police team would monitor crowd movement from the control rooms set up at the Collector’s office, District Police Office, Fire Office and Regional Transport Office.
To help devotees arriving from far-off places, 15 temporary bus stands have been planned around all nine entry and exit roads connecting Tiruvannamalai. As many as 85 parking lots to facilitate parking of 25,000 cars will be set up.
State Transport Corporation would operate 2,000 special buses from various parts of the State. It has been planned to run at least 125 buses as shuttle services to transport devotees from the temporary bus stands to the girivalam path. The charges for autorickshaws from the temporary bus stands have been been fixed at ₹20 for 2.5km.
In addition, women self help group members would be roped in for crowd management, said an official. Other amenities such as food courts offering food at affordable prices, drinking water, toilets and bathrooms will be set up at all public gathering spots and bus and car parking zones.
Health department would conduct health camps at various points and they would be intimated through signages. Three mobile hospitals, 15 ambulances with emergency medical facilities and 34 information centres would be established in all major areas.