Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Challenges; tight security, civic and crowd management and the heat

With loads of experience, the festival rituals and processions run clock-work.
But there is much to be done on other key issues that concern such a huge festival that attracts at least 50,000 to one lakh people across 11 days.
Security of devotees, traffic management and avoiding food wastage at annadhanam time are join to be areas of focus this year.
There are instances of jewellery and purse thefts every fest. So local police want to caution women to attend the fest without or minimum gold jewels.
Civic conditions go for a toss here - this year more mobile toilets are to be stationed on the mada streets. But there is a need for volunteers to guide people to these loos.
A more serious issue is wasted of food and drink given free at annadhanam time on arubathumoovar day. 
Police now plan to allocate spaces on the mada streets where donors can provide free food and drink to devotees. Chennai Corporation staff has been asked to clear the streets of food and other refuse and be proactive near the annadhanam spaces so that food is not dumped and stamped on here, a regular and woeful feature of the festival.

Daytime temperatures are rising; from 33 degrees now. It will be a rather sweaty festival season. Metro Water is also being asked to set up drinking water tanks on the mada streets.

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