30 November 2017

2017 Arunachala Karthigai Festival: RESTRICTIONS climbing Arunachala on Deepam 2 December, 2017

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire

The Madras High Court today directed authorities to permit only 2,500 devotees atop the Annamalai Hill in Thiruvannamalai during the December 2 Karthigai Deepam festival. 

Justice K Ravichandrabaabu said passes for the devotees will be distributed at special counters on first come first serve basis from 6am on Saturday. The judge passed a direction to this effect on a petition filed by devotees assailing the district collector's decision not to permit any devotee to climb atop the holy hill this year. 

Justice Ravichandrabaabu commended advocate-general Vijay Narayan for coming out with a suggestion to allow 2,000 devotees and then revising the number to 2,500. 

It, however, laid down conditions for pass holders undertaking the uphill trek during the festival. 

One of the conditions was that they should not light the deepam in any place atop the hill, except pouring the ghee at the designated Kopparai where the Karthigai deepam is lit. 

The devotees should not carry camphor, crackers and other inflammable materials. 

The 2,500 passes will not include VIP passes, the judge said, adding that the district administration should open special counters to distribute them to devotees who must come in queue. 

The judge directed the district administration to deploy adequate number of police personnel atop the hill to see that no untoward incident took place during the festival. 

Suitable arrangements must be made without giving room for any complaint from any quarters, the judge added. 

The devotees took exception to the collector's order that no devotee would be allowed to climb the hill during the Deepam festival, because previous festivals had seen loss of lives, accumulation of garbage and spoiling of flora and fauna, thereby causing pollution and threat to ecology. 

In the petition, the devotees said the centuries-old practice of climbing the holy hill to light the Deepam should not be curtailed all of a sudden, that to without getting the views and opinions of devotees and general public. 

Justice Ravichandrabaabu pointed out that sentiments of devotees and threat to environment were at loggerheads and the court needed to decide the issue with great care and caution. 

The judge praised the advocate-general for having come up with a solution.
"The fair, impartial and balanced role played by the advocate-general is deeply appreciated and recorded," the judge added.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Additional request not to leave garbage on the Hill a good idea also.