KANCHEEPURAM: After a high-level review meeting with the State chief secretary, DGP, Kancheepuram district collector and other top officials here on Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami said here this evening that Athi Varadar would give 'darshan' to devotees in standing posture from August 1. The 48-day festival of the Lord of Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple here made in fig wood, taken out from the temple tank once in 40 years, will go on till August 17.
Mr. Palaniswami said that after detailed discussions on the present arrangements for the visiting pilgrims for the ‘Athi Varadar’ festival, several facilities were being augmented to enable devotees have a reasonably painless, hassle-free 'darshan', besides ensuring the safety, transportation, food, medical, fire safety and sanitary needs of the people visiting the temple town in tens of thousands since July 1.
Giving details of the facilities already provided, Mr. Palaniswami said the issuance of 2000 'special darshan' tickets, priced at Rs 300 a ticket, through online booking has commenced from July 19.
This would help to part-regulated the crowd, he said, adding, two large additional 'pandals' which can accommodate up to 3,000 devotees at a time has also been put up near the temple complex, he said.
The Chief Minister two more battery-driven cars and 500 additional wheel-chairs for elderly pilgrims have been added to the facilities now, even as 615 additional sanitary workers have been appointed.
Over 5,100 policemen have been mobilised for 'bandobast' duty, and NGOs' will arrange water distribution to pilgrims at 18 more points in the town, he said. The entire arrangements were being overseen by a team of officers led by two senior IAS officers, he added.
The situation is being reviewed on daily basis....