Rajahmundry: Necessary arrangements are in place to handle the heavy flow of devotees that is expected at bathing ghats for Godavari Pushkaram in view of two consecutive holidays, Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister N Chinnarajappa said on Saturday.
Chinnarajappa, who is also the state Home Minister, said that in view of holiday today on the occasion of Eid and tomorrow being Sunday, pilgrims in large numbers are anticipated at the ghats.
Elaborate security measures, therefore, have been ensured to handle the crowds.
"We are expecting a greater number of pilgrims than on the other days due to the two straight holidays.
"Keeping that in view, we have made necessary arrangements to meet the extra rush on the fifth day today (of the Pushkaram) at Rajahmundry, Kovvuru and other ghats across East and West Godavari districts," he said.
Security has been tightened and 5,000 additional police personnel from other states have been deployed across the ghats, the minister added.
At least 27 pilgrims, most of them women, had died, while scores were injured in a stampede on the first day of the big festival here.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu last night paid a surprise visit at the various ghats, railway stations, goods sheds and took stock of the arrangements and facilities. He also interacted with pilgrims.
According to a senior state information department official, around 2.40 lakh devotees took a dip at the ghats in East Godavari district yesterday while in West Godavari, the number was nearly 3.10 lakh.
Meanwhile, Kakinada municipal commissioner Govind Swamy was yesterday suspended for dereliction of duty.