Didn't expect such a turnout at Kancheepuram temple: CM
Chennai, July 18 (IANS) Amid the death of four devotees standing in the queue on Thursday for `darshan' of Athi Varadar at the Devarajaswami temple, popularly known as Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said in the Assembly the government didn't expect such a huge turnout.
According to him, on Thursday around 1.75 lakh people had come to seek Athi Varadar's blessings.
Four persons, waiting in the queue first fainted due to suffocation, and later died in the hospital in Kancheepuram.
Replying to DMK leader M.K. Stalin, who raised the issue, Palaniswami said, "We didn't expect such a large turnout of devotees for `darshan' of Athi Varadar. Even at the Tirumala temple, 75,000 devotees come a day and necessary facilities are there."
To manage the crowd and enable devotees to have `darshan', necessary facilities had been provided, Palaniswami said.
Palaniswami said the District Collector had issued a statement urging pregnant women, elders, differently abled and unwell people to avoid coming to Kancheepuram.
"We are expecting 30,000-50,000 devotees a day between July 1 and August 17," P. Ponniah, Collector, Kancheepuram District told IANS.
The Chief Minister said three persons who died were suffering from high blood pressure and one person was suffering from fits. Additional facilities were being provided for the devotees, he added.
Earlier, the DMK President urged the state government to provide necessary safety and sanitation facilities as more number of people were expected to visit Kancheepuram.