Tungabhadra Pushkaralu to be on low key

12-day event from November 20 at five places in Gadwal district

The Tungabhadra Pushkaralu will be held from November 20 to December 1 by following COVID-19 norms but without any fanfare, Minister for Endowments A. Indrakaran Reddy stated on Saturday.

Speaking after reviewing the arrangements being made for the event that recurs every 12 years at Alampur in Jogulamba-Gadwal district along with Minister S. Niranjan Reddy (Agriculture) and V. Srinivas Goud (Excise), officials and others, Mr. Reddy said there was no scope for holding the Pushkaralu on grand scale this time due to COVID-19 norms.

However, the event would be held by following COVID-19 safety norms at all the five pushkara-ghats at Alampur, Veni Sompur, Rajoli, Pullur and Kalugotla in the district. The district administration had been instructed to make arrangements so as not to cause any inconvenience to the devotees/pilgrims.

The Ministers told the district officials to focus on sanitation and cleanliness at all the five pushkara-ghats keeping in mind the pandemic situation. The officials were told to make elaborate arrangements for bathing, changing rooms for women, toilets, drinking water facility and parking for vehicles of devotees/pilgrims.

Further, the Ministers told the administration to ensure that children and aged persons are allowed into the pushakara-ghats for bathing and care be taken that all visitors sanitise themselves and maintain social distancing while taking the holy dip in the river. The pushakara-ghats be kept clean round-the-clock and bleaching powder be sprayed frequently, the Ministers suggested.

To avoid over-crowding at pushakara-ghats, the pilgrims should be given time slots for the holy dip in the river.

The Ministers asked the officials to arrange spinklers and showers for bathing/holy dip as a measure of safety since the flow of water in the river is good.

Other safety norms such as thermal screening of every devotee/pilgrim be made mandatory at all the pushkara-ghats and in the event of any suspicion they be asked to undergo rapid test for COVID screening.

Ample number of rapid testing kits should be kept available at all the ghats, the Ministers said.

Zilla Parishad Chairperson K. Saritha, legislators Dr. V.M. Abraham (Alamapur), A. Venkateshwar Reddy (Devarakadra), Chairman of Panchayat Raj Tribunal Bandari Bhaskar, District Collector Shruti Ojha, Superintendent of Police Ranjan Ratan Kumar, Commissioner of Endowments V. Anil Kumar and others attended the meeting.

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