Saturday November 16, 2019

Thousands take holy dip in Godavari

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Khammam/Rajahmundry: Tens of thousands thronged the banks of the Godavari in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to take a holy dip on Saturday, the last day of Godavari maha pushkaralu, a de facto Kumbh mela. Amrit Nectar of Immortality

People queued up at the ghats along the river as the 12-day event is set to conclude.

Authorities have taken extra measures for the safety of the pilgrims in view of the massive rush on the last day.

The administration is on high alert in Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh where 27 pilgrims were killed in a stampede on the first day of the festival on July 14.

Policemen, firefighters and expert divers have been deployed at Pushkar Ghat, where the stampede had occurred and five other ghats in Rajahmundry.

In Telangana, the authorities were on high alert in view of the rise in water level. Additional precautionary measures were taken in temple towns of Bhadrachalam, Dharampuri and Kaleshwaram.

Pilgrims were cautioned against crossing the barricades at the ghats.

Officials claimed that nearly 10 crore people have so far taken the dip.

While 5.12 crore people took a dip in the river in the five districts of Telangana till Friday, this number crossed 4.50 crore in East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday morning.

More than one crore people are expected to participate in the event in the two states on the last day.

The festival will end on Saturday evening with rituals including ‘pushkar jyothi’ and grand ‘arathi’ at various pilgrim centers.

Though pushkaralu take place once in 12 years, this time it is considered very auspicious. Priests say such an event comes once in 144 years.

People from across the country took the holy dip in the Godavari, known as the southern Ganga. Naga Sadhus had ‘shahi snan’ or royal bath in the temple town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Telangana.

While Telangana constructed 106 bathing ghats in five districts, Andhra made elaborate arrangements for the pilgrims at 280 ghats in the two districts.

The chief ministers of the two states had flagged off the festival by taking the dip along with their family members in their respective states on July 14.

In Rajahmundry, the event began on a tragic note as minutes after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu took the dip at Pushkar ghat, a stampede broke out killing two pilgrims.

Shaken by the tragedy, Naidu decided to camp in the town for the entire duration of the festival to monitor the proceedings.

The authorities subsequently improved the crowd management and ensured smooth conduct of the festival.

Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao also directed his cabinet colleagues and top officials to stay in the towns assigned to them till the last pilgrim takes the dip.

(IANS)

Next Story

Telangana To Declare 2020 as The Year of Artificial Intelligence: Report

This was announced by Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao during a meeting with NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh

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Artificial Intellegence
The IT minister said the state government was happy to collaborate with NASSCOM in bridging the skill gap in the emerging tech sectors to bring Artificial Intellegence. Pixabay

The Telangana government will declare 2020 as the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to promote its use in various sectors such as agriculture, urban transportation and healthcare.

This was announced by Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao during a meeting with NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh here on Friday.

The minister announced that the government would organise a series of events throughout the year centred around the AI theme.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, highlighted the various initiatives taken by the state government in the areas of emerging technologies.

“Telangana government is continuing to attract investors from marquee companies which are setting up their R&D and technology development centres in emerging technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, cyber security and blockchain,” KTR said.

The IT minister said the state government was happy to collaborate with NASSCOM in bridging the skill gap in the emerging tech sectors.

Artificial Intellegence
The Telangana government will declare 2020 as the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to promote its use in various sectors such as agriculture, urban transportation and healthcare. Pixabay

Ghosh said that NASSCOM would be delighted to collaborate with government of Telangana in launching AI applications in various sectors and also creating an ecosystem for startups to implement these AI applications.

Ghosh informed that NASSCOM is proactively preparing a list of new job roles getting created in the emerging technology space. She said that NASSCOM would also be interested in partnering with the Telangana government on the open data initiative and also in skilling youngsters in data sciences.

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Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan, Director, Emerging Technologies, Rama Devi, and Director, Digital Media, Dileep Konatham were also present in the meeting. (IANS)