Andhra delicacies and gourmet food from across the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh will tickle the taste buds of people visiting the river Krishna `pushkaralu’ beginning on August 12. For the first time, water sports and river cruises are also being introduced on the river Krishna.
The State Government which is promoting the event as a cultural and tourism event will set up food courts at several places in Vijayawada along the `pushkar’ ghats which will serve Andhra specials from across the districts. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who visited the pushkar ghats to review the arrangements today said that noted food items of all the districts should be available at the food court and the pilgrims should feel proud about Andhra food varieties. He said that the food items of other states also should be made available at the food courts. Many of the food courts would be set up at the apron downstream of Prakasam barrage at Vijayawada. Although, it is river Krishna pushkaralu, the water that will be released for pilgrims to take a holy dip downstream of the Prakasam Barrage at Vijayawada is technically from river Godavari. As there was negligible inflow from upstream of Krishna, the Government released more water from the Pattiseema lift irrigation project on river Godavari last week and the waters reached the Prakasam Barrage two days ago.
Water sports are likely to be added attraction during the 12-day Krishna pushkaralu which occurs once every 12 years. The CM directed the officials to organise water sports and arrange air-conditioned boats and organise cruises during the 12-day river festival by setting up 10 parking places along the river for the boats to dock. Amaravati and Vijayawada are being beautified and decked up as green cities to bring festival atmosphere during Krishna pushkaram.
CM Naidu is inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governors of all states, Central ministers, Chief Justice and chief ministers of all states to take part in the Krishna pushkaram. He said that special programmes will be conducted at Krishna-Godavari confluence at Ferry village to focus on river-linking. Voluntary organisations are gearing up to distribute free food to the thousands of poor pilgrims who will arrive to take a dip in the river. The Chief Minister said that Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has been making arrangements to offer free food to one lakh pilgrims daily. He appealed to rice millers and voluntary organisations to provide free food to devotees by working in coordination with civil supplies department.
As advised by the Union Health Ministry, precautions are being taken to prevent water-bourne diseases like diarrhoea. Nearly 100 specialist doctors and several medical teams will be on standby at Vijayawada during the event.