As Pune gears up for the upcoming Ashadhi Wari, authorities are actively preparing to ensure the well-being of the devotees. On Thursday, Pune Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil conducted a review meeting at Vidhana Bhavan Pune to oversee the preparations for the Ashadhi Wari Palkhi Sohla in 2023. During the meeting, Patil emphasized the need to arrange adequate facilities for water, health, and sanitation, as well as taking necessary precautions to prevent devotees from suffering from heatstroke.
This year, the Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi will depart from Alandi on June 11, while the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi will depart from Dehu on June 10. The pilgrimage will culminate in Pandharpur on June 29, which marks the auspicious day of Ashadhi Ekadashi. The Wari involves thousands of devotees, known as "warkaris," who undertake a walking journey to the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district, chanting slogans like 'Jai Hari Vitthal' and 'Dnyanoba Mauli Tukaram'.
Potential issues arising from high temperatures
Patil also expressed concerns about potential issues arising from high temperatures and instructed officials to ensure the availability of sufficient stocks of oral rehydration solution (ORS), medicines, and water tankers. He emphasized the need for regular checks of water sources, an increase in the number of ambulances, and the readiness of all teams and systems to handle any emergency situations.
During the meeting, Patil also urged officials to expedite the process of filling potholes and repairing the side strips along the pilgrimage route.
The Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to set up pandals, providing health, sanitation, and water facilities at intervals of one kilometer. Addressing the need for better facilities in villages along the Palkhi route, Patil emphasized the provision of basic amenities for the pilgrims staying at Alandi, Dehu, and Saswad.
From sanitation to ambulances
Collector Dr. Rajesh Deshmukh informed us about the preparations in Pune district, including the completion of work on the bridge over the Karha River at Saswad and ongoing work on the access road which is expected to be completed before June 5, allowing the Palkhi to cross the bridge this year. The development works at the Jejuri Palkhi base are also in the final stages.
Considering that devotees may experience fatigue after walking through Dive Ghat, a special in-patient ward with 10 beds will be established at Zendewadi Ghat, accompanied by a cardiac ambulance. A total of 30 ambulances from the 'Dial 108' service and 110 ambulances from the 'Dial 102' service will be assigned, with 39 paramedics equipped to provide services on two-wheelers. Additionally, 87 outpatient ambulance teams, 146 teams from rural hospitals and primary health centers, 24 Palkhi stay medicine centres, 33 medicine sub-centers, and 2 mobile medical teams have been prepared to provide healthcare facilities.
Food and beverages will be inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. Mobile companies have been instructed to make additional arrangements to prevent mobile network issues, and a wireless communication system has been established. Furthermore, a mobile app is being developed to provide necessary information and assistance to citizens attending the Palkhi ceremony.
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