Sharp decline in COVID-19 cases; but safety protocols in place
Chamarajanagar: In the wake of sharp slide in COVID-19 cases, the State Government has shown the green flag to hold Shivarathri and Ugadi Rathotsava at Male Mahadeshwara Hills in Chamarajanagar district.
This was decided at a preliminary meeting held here on Feb. 15 under the Chairmanship of Primary and Secondary Education Minister and District Minister S. Suresh Kumar.
Speaking at the meeting, the Minister said that Maha Shivarathri Jathra will be held from Mar. 10 to Mar. 14 and Maha Rathotsava on Mar. 14. While Ugadi Jathra will take place from Apr. 9 to Apr. 13, Ugadi Maha Rathotsava will take place on Apr. 13. Officials have been asked to make adequate preparations for both events.
As part of four-day jathra celebrations, there would be Yenne Majjana, Amavasya special puja and Rathotsava. Around four lakh pilgrims are expected to participate in these two events and COVID-19 safety protocols should be strictly observed. The number of devotees to be allowed to participate in these two religious events will be discussed with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who is also the Chairman of M.M. Hills Area Development Authority. However, there will be no curbs on holding jathra, he added..
Focus on basic facilities
Suresh Kumar directed the District officers to give priority for basic facilities, cleanliness, toilets, drinking water at the hill shrine. Illumination should be done everywhere as usual and 24×7 power supply must be ensured.
Hanur MLA R. Narendra asked the Development Authority to make all preparations in connection with the jathra celebrations. Besides, every Department must complete its task in given time.
No meals, but only snacks
Jayavibhavaswamy, Secretary, M.M. Hills Area Development Authority, said no private bus, trucks, goods auto and goods tempo will be allowed to the hill top during Shivarathri Jathra. They will be allowed till Talabetta, where they should be parked. From Talabetta to M.M. Hills, 25 KSRTC buses will run to pick up and drop passengers. This is being held to check traffic chaos on the hill top. “Every year we were preparing 4 lakh laddus and this year we will distribute 50,000 laddus on each day during the five-day Jathra Mahotsava,” he added.
Additional Deputy Commissioner S. Katyayinidevi, Superintendent of Police Divya Sara Thomas, Assistant Commissioner Dr. Girish Dileep Badole, Additional Superintendent of Police Anitha B. Haddannavar, Tahsildhars Nagaraju and K. Kumar, District Health and Family Welfare Officer Dr. M.C. Ravi, Deputy Secretary of Chamarajanagar Zilla Panchayat Dr. Dharanesh, Salur Mutt Seer, Deputy Conservator of Forests Edukondalu, KSRTC Divisional Controller Srinivas, Director of District Urban Development Cell K. Suresh and others were present.
- To give snacks containing a sweet to devotees since there has been ban on mass feeding as per COVID-19 guidelines.
- Deploy 200 Home Guards along with Police on security duty
- Bathing arrangements for devotees
- Address mobile tower problems on priority
- Lighting arrangements at the main temple