KURNOOL: Tension prevailed at a few Pushkar ghats along the Tungabhadra river when defying state government’s orders, some pilgrims took dip in the river, instead of wetting themselves under showers on Saturday.
In particular, with least regard to Covid-19 norms, BJP leader Budda
Srinkanth Reddy and his followers took the holy dip in Tungabhadra River
near Sangameswaram. When police objected, he retorted, “Why was YSRC MLA
not prevented when he took out padayatra recently with thousands of
supporters. If Covid cannot affect them,” he told police, “no Covid will
affect Hindu pilgrims having pushkar bath.” Following Srinkanth Reddy having
a dip along with his followers, other pilgrims too took the holy dip.
Pilgrims continued to throng the bathing ghats of Tungabhadra Pushkaralu in
their thousands on the second day of the 12-day mega festival. Over 25
thousand pilgrims took bath by using showers installed at all 23 pushkar
ghats in Kurnool district by Saturday late evening.
However, compared to previous pushkaralu, the crowds were not much at the ghats due to the fear of Covid-19 pandemic. To check spread of Coronavirus by way of water through the Tungabhadra River, officials arranged at least 20 showers at every pushkar ghat.
They advised pilgrims to vacate the place quickly in order to protect themselves
from the deadly virus. At some of the bathing ghats, authorities literally
forced every pilgrim to leave the ghat immediately after taking the shower
bath. Pilgrims were allowed almost round the clock at all pushkar ghats to
ease the congestion.
Police and government monitored the situation and diverted pilgrims to
different ghats for avoiding convergence of crowds at a single place,
particularly Sankal Bagh in Kurnool city and Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt in
Mantralayam. Many pilgrims floated “pushkara deepams” in the holy waters of
Tungabhadra River. Some pilgrims also performed pinda pradanam for their
ancestors with the help of priests, paying a fixed fee as decided by state