On the eve of the annual festival of Sri Kapali Temple, two issues are being debated by the community. One, whether the newly designed pavements on the mada streets around Sri Kapali Temple will in any way hamper the smooth movement of the chariot, especially at the road junctions.
Two, the huge wastage of annadhanam food that is donated by various groups on the arabathummovar day celebration, which results in dirtying the streets and creating a mess.
DOES NEW STREET DESIGN ALLOW SMOOTH MOVEMENT OF CHARIOT?
Chennai Corporation began to execute a new design for the pavement and street spaces on the mada streets late last year. It re-started this work after Pongal.
That is when temple managers raised a few queries with the civic managers – does the new pavement design allow for smooth movement of the giant chariot at festival time?
Street-corner meetings were held. The issue was raised at a community interface meeting recently.
Civic officials insisted the design did allow easy movement of the chariot. Many people pointed out that the design would cause accidents when the ‘ther’ was pulled, especially at mada street corner junctions.
On the ground, no changes have been effected. Only the margin end granite stones have been placed; work on the pavement remains partly done.
WASTED ANNADHANAM CONCERNS PEOPLE
More and more people serve annadhanam at the day-long arabathumoovar celebration at the Panguni festival.
This is a age-old practice – locals provided a meal to devotees from afar who were at the festival.
But in recent times, the annadhanam practice seems to have become aimless. The scores of food stalls lining the mada streets serve huge quantities of food and much of it is thrown on to the streets and paper plates and paper cups are strewn all over.
Many people are seen sampling the food or snacks at every other stall; they are not the ones who seem to be hungry and need to have some food.
Wastage of ‘annadhanam’ food is high during the festival and this creates a dirty atmosphere so much so that when people visit the temple zone in the evening, they have to negotiate leftovers and paper plates across the streets.
Community activists are wondering how the annadhanam process can be streamlined and how the streets can be kept clean on arabathumoovar day.