Pashupati prepared for Teej

KATHMANDU: Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), the body entrusted with the task of handling the management of the popular holy site in Kathmandu, is all set to host tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims in Teej festival on Sunday.

On the occasion, around 200,000 women devotees are expected to visit the Pashupati - temple of lord Shiva. Teej is mainly celebrated by Hindu women during the month of August or September to pray for their husbands' longevity of life and a happy and fulfilling marital life.

In a bid to properly manage the pilgrims, PADT has formed a 166-member Haritalika (Teej) Festival Management Main Committee - 2009, led by Narottam Baidhya, treasurer of PADT. "Under the main committee, five other sub-committee has been formed," said Baidhya. The sub-committee are Security, Voluntary and Prayer Management Sub-Committee, Clean-up and Sandal Room Security Management Sub-Committee, Health and Essential Service Management Sub-Committee, Hymn Songs and Illumination Management Sub-Committee and Publicity Sub-Committee, to name a few.

According to Shyam Shekhar Jha, coordinator of Publicity Sub-Committee, altogether four rows will be formed for the pilgrims thronging the temple. The first row will start from Mitrapark through Umakunda, Pashupati Kailash Dakshin, Rudragadeshwor and Basuki. The second and third queue will stretch from Gausala Chowk and Panchadewal.

"We have also managed a ramp system which will begin from Bhuwaneshwori Chowk. The ramp system provide the pilgrims an opportunity to pay quick obeisance to Shiva. No matter, however long the queue is, the devotees will be able to take a glance of lord Shiva within an hour," informed Baidhya.

The officials said that they would effectively manage the drinking water supply, electricity, telephone service, medicines, mobile health personnel and safe house for sandals and shoes. Security guards and volunteers will keep a round-the-clock vigil to ensure that everything is in order.

"More than 1, 500 security personnel and 2, 500 volunteers will be mobilised round-the-clock to maintain law and order," said Jha.

Meanwhile, District Administration Office has banned the sale and consumption of liquor and narcotic to maintain religious and cultural decorum of the holy shrine and PADT.

Local police department has been entrusted with the responsibility of checking and monitoring the illegal and anti-social activities. The security arrangement will be effective for 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday Midnight.

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division is to take care of the separate route for the smooth flow of traffic. "We will issue a special pass to the elderly and physically challenged persons," said Baidhya. Unlike the previous years, PADT has scraped the special pass system with a view to treat all fairly irrespective of class or clan.

Meanwhile, PADT has appealed to all to shed off jewellry made of precious metals during the occasion.