1 crore likely to take dip in last two days
With just two days to go for the Godavari Maha Pushkaralu to end on July 25, all the pushkar ghats in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are witnessing heavy rush of pilgrims. On the tenth day of the pushkarlu alone on Thursday till 6 pm, nearly 92.48 lakh pilgrims took the holy dip in TS and AP.
The state governments have made special arrangements to meet last-minute rush in order to avoid stampede like situations near pushkar ghats. Over 4.62 crore pilgrims took the holy dip in Telangana till Thursday, and the TS government expects another crore to take the dip during the last two days.
The government will deploy additional police units to control traffic on highways and roads going to the pushkar ghats. “Traffic management is our top priority on the last two days of the puhkaralu. Already 20,000 police personnel have been deployed to control traffic on highways, roads and pushkar ghats. An additional 5,000 policemen are being deployed to meet the last minute rush. Once traffic is managed properly, everything will follow suit,” said TS endowments minister A. Indrakaran Reddy.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao also held a review meeting on pushkaralu and alerted ministers, police and other officials about the huge crowd expected to converge on pushkar ghats during the last two days and the measures needed to be taken to prevent untoward incidents. He patted them for conducting the pushkaralu smoothly during the last 10 days and asked them to be extra careful in the last two days.
In Telangana till Thursday around 1.32 crore pilgrims took the holy dip in Nizamabad district, while it was 50 lakh in Adilabad, 2.19 crore in Karimnagar, 15 lakh in Warangal and 45 lakh in Khammam. Chief Minister KCR declared two-day holiday for government employees who were deputed for pushakaralu duties on July 27 and 28 in appreciation of their services.
AP minister Palle Raghunath Reddy said that around 3.9 crore pilgrims took the dip till Thursday and the figure is expected to touch five crore by the end of the Pushkarams. On Thursday alone, 44.49 lakh pilgrims in East Godavari and 13.88 lakh in West Godavari participated in the pushkaralu.
Officials estimate that the number of pilgrims will increase on the last two days of the Godavari Mahapushkarams at Rajahmundry, Kovvuru and other places along the banks of the Godavari in both East and West Godavari districts.