The Madras High Court bench here today issued notices to the central and state governments regarding the arrangements for next month's Cauvery Maha Pushkaram festival at Srirangam in Tiruchirapalli district.
Hearing a PIL filed by International Sri Vaishnava Ramanuja Samrajya Sabha seeking proper arrangements for the Pushkaram to be held from September 12 to 24, Justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan sought a reply from the governments by August 16.
The petitioner submitted that lakhs of people from all over India were expected to visit the holy town of Srirangam for the festival and wanted the authorities to make necessary arrangements.
The Sabha, represented by its secretary Govinda Ramanuja Dasa, contended that there was a need to make the Cauvery riverbed safe as it had trenches and banks were full of 'Seemaikaruvelam' trees (Prosopis juliflora).
Moreover, the petitioner said there were no basic amenities for pilgrims apart from medical facilities and there were no information centres for people coming from other states.
The petitioner submitted that despite giving a representation to the authorities with regard to creating infrastructure, so far no arrangements had been made though only 40 days or so remained for the festival.
Hence, the Sabha pleaded to the court to intervene and give directions to the governments for setting up proper infrastructure for pilgrims who would be visiting Srirangam.
About the significance of Pushkaram, the petitioner submitted that the movement of Jupiter from one planet to another also meant Pushkar, who resides in the 'kamandal' of Brahma, moves to the river, to which the planet's 'rasi' belongs.
This year, Guru (Jupiter) shifts from Kanya to Thula, which is the rasi of Cauvery, and would be celebrated on a grand scale across the state, where the river flows. Since the phenomenon is happening after 144 years, it is called Maha Pushkaram, the petitioner said.