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300 Cops Deployed, Special Bus Services in Place for Attukal Pongala Festival in Thiruvananthapuram

Plastic will remain strictly banned on the Attukal Bhagavathy temple premises and the Corporation wards that comprise the festival zone during the 10-day festival.

Meera Manu | News18.com

Updated:February 19, 2019, 8:17 PM IST
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300 Cops Deployed, Special Bus Services in Place for Attukal Pongala Festival in Thiruvananthapuram
Women devotees prepare Pongala (offering) in makeshift brick stoves to appease the presiding deity of Attukal Bhagavathy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. (File photo)
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Thiruvananthapuram: As the Kerala capital readies itself for the famous Attukal Pongala festival on Wednesday, over 300 Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel, comprising 100 female police officers, have been deployed across the city. The city is expected to play host to a gathering of 40 lakh women for the festival.

The participants have been warned not to set pongala hearths close to transformers, vehicles, buildings and billboards. In the event of fire, fire and rescue services can be reached at 101, the police said, adding that a 400-member team from four fire stations have also been deployed on duty. “Women are advised to wear cotton clothes and make sure fire in the hearth is totally doused before pack up. Bricks used for making the hearth shall be neatly lined on the wayside before leaving,” the police said in a statement.

Green protocol

Just like in the previous years, plastic will remain strictly banned on the Attukal Bhagavathy temple premises and the Corporation wards that comprise the festival zone during the 10-day festival. Green protocol will be followed in the 21 corporation wards that comprise the festival zone. A 500-member squad will keep a check on the protocol.

Facilities

A total of 1,240 makeshift taps have been put up to ensure potable water supply and the Kerala Water Authority is in charge of its management. The Child Welfare Council office situated in Thycaud has made arrangements to take care of children when their mothers are busy taking part in the ritual.

Security

Temporary surveillance cameras are put up at the entrances and busy spots and 300 Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel comprising 100 female police officers have been deployed at key city junctures.

Transport

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses will ply shuttle service between East Fort and Attukal and a special control room will open at platform number one in Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station. For better crowd management, the traffic police has put one-way system in place on the foot over bridge. Trains going towards Kollam will operate from three platforms whereas the service towards Kanyakumari will be available on two. To ensure safety, platforms and railway track premises will remian cordoned off.

The lighting of the ‘pandara aduppu’, the main hearth in the Attukal Devi temple premises, is scheduled at 10.15am. The customary offering (nivedyam) of the concoction shall be made at 2.15pm marking the culmination of the annual event.

During the festival, people make an offering of ‘pongala’ -- a sweet porridge of rice, jaggery and coconut -- in earthen pots. Makeshift hearths start lining up at almost every nook and corner of the city several days prior to the festival.

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