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Water shortage for famous roti festival this time also in Nellore
Shortage of water is going to hit the famous annual roti festival this time since there is no clean water in Swarnala Tank where devotees exchange rotis in knee-deep water after taking holy bath.
Nellore: Shortage of water is going to hit the famous annual roti festival this time since there is no clean water in Swarnala Tank where devotees exchange rotis in knee-deep water after taking holy bath. Experts say there would be a problem with spreading contagious and water-borne diseases due to contamination.
Still, no water has been released from Somasila reservoir for meeting the huge demand. Ganesh Chaturthi was also celebrated with inadequate water in River Penna due to low water availability in the reservoir.
In fact, lakhs of devotees visit the Dargah during the five-day festival and offer and give rotis as part of the tradition. There is a practice that one should take bath either for accepting a roti for something they desire or to give it to some others according to the fulfilment of their wish.
In such a case, thousands of devotees take bath in the tank which is insufficient to meet the demand since no significant rainfall occurred in the city and water in the tank also contaminated due to stagnation. Water should be cleaned and then made available for the devotees.
"Water has been stagnated in the tank since festival was over last year. Now, they are not clean and not fit for taking holy bath and other purposes. Devotees also contaminate water body by taking baths and throw waste in and around the tank. This has to be managed by civic body for healthy environs," said Mohammad Sharif, who resides opposite to the tank area.
District administration has decided to conduct the annual roti festival from September 10 to 14 and still arrangements have not been completed. Devotees from various parts of the country started visiting the dargah much before actual commencement of the festival. Rumours are doing rounds that politicos involved in the tendering process which resulted in loss of around Rs 20 lakh this year.
A contractor came forward and got tender for Rs 92 lakh and then he disappeared. Wakf Board officials announced that he had expressed inability to go ahead and finally they okayed tenders for Rs 70 lakh.
Now, contractors are exploiting the traders with huge charges for arranging shops in the premises. It was earlier Rs. 1,000-1,200 per feet and it has become Rs 2,000 now which is a huge burden on the traders which in turn affects wallets of the devotees.
District Collector MV Seshagiri Babu and SP Aishwarya Rastogi visited the dargah premises on Saturday and directed the officials to take measures for healthy environments and arrangement all facilities for the devotees.
He said drinking water, toilets, parking, shelters, sanitation, lighting, medical facilities and others have to be arranged and asked the NUDA Vice-Chairman T Bapi Reddy to monitor them.