Preparations for the annual festival of Our Lady of Good Health in Velankanni have begun in Nagapattinam. The celebration begins on August 29 with the hoisting of the flag and ends on September 8 with the procession of cars.

On Monday, Collector A. Arun Thamburaj, Superintendent of Police G. Jawahar and other officials visited the basilica to review ongoing preparations for the 11-day festival.

According to the collector, 24-hour bus services would be operated from various locations to make it easier for worshipers to travel without hassle. Appropriate measures would be taken to ensure that school vehicles are operated from the locality without hindrance.

“Precautionary measures will be taken to identify repeat offenders. For better surveillance, CCTV cameras will be installed in the church premises, and 24-hour surveillance will be maintained. Measures will be taken to avoid traffic jams during the motorcade,” Mr. Thamburaj said.

In addition, children would receive a waterproof ID card with their parent’s phone number to prevent them from getting lost. Boundaries would be set to prevent worshipers from going deep into the beach. Firefighters and rubber dinghies would be kept ready.

According to officials, medical camps will be set up in more than 10 locations with doctors and staff, to help the pilgrims. COVID-19 vaccination camps will also be set up. To ensure that the sale of meat and fish is hygienic, all canteens in the region will be inspected and food quality will be tested.

Considering the expected crowds, all departments including public health, police and transport have been asked to prepare for the event in line with the estimate that more than two lakh people could attend this time- ci, added the collector.