Absence of adequate parking, other facilities irk T’malai devotees
TIRUVANNAMALAI: While the district administration and Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple authorities in Tiruvannamalai town heaved a sigh of relief after the annual 10-day Deepam festival passing off smoothly despite a turnout of more than 35 lakh devotees, visitors and locals are seems to be irked over the absences of some facilities in the town on regular days.
“Though the administration arranges for car parking on Deepam days, this facility is mostly missing on other days,” said Hanumantha Rao of Bengaluru. “We have no specific place to park our vehicles and enquiries with locals elicit the reply that we should park wherever possible,” he added.
A temple source when asked about this accepted it as true and added that the space near the Rajagopuram where fire service personnel are allowed to park their fire tenders has enough space to allow parking of vehicles.
There is space enough to allow parking of private vehicles and “the move if implemented will ensure daily revenue for the temple as visitors are increasing daily after the pandemic related lockdown was lifted,” he added.
Asked about this, a local, who is a regular to the temple, said parking for nearly 1,000 cars during Deepam fest was always out of the town and hence it was not questioned. However, where is the parking for those who come to the temple on other days was the oft-asked question.
Another sore point with locals is the laying of a cement road in the seventh pragaram, which consists of the Mada streets, where the temple cars run during the Deepam. While PWD Minister EV Velu announced that ducts would be constructed near the road edge for all overhead cables, “this has not been done,” a local who sought anonymity said.
“No devotee or local, including the many traders, were asked for their opinions on this issue though it affects them all due to the Minister stating that PWD engineers were the best experts to decide on this,” he added.
“But they failed miserably as in addition to such construction, none of the street drains have been properly connected to the new construction which makes us wonder why so much money was being spent,” a local trader wondered.