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Milling crowds at Medaram ahead of ‘jatara’

Staff Reporter

Three-day Sammakka Sarakka festival to begin on February 20

Photo: M. Murali

Sprucing up: Tribal Welfare Minister D.S. Redya Naik inspecting the ongoing works at Medaram in Warangal district on Thursday.

TADVAI (WARANGAL DT.): Medaram village, the venue of Sammakka Sarakka jatara, is teeming with crowds as the festival is drawing near (February 20).

On an average, about 20,000 to 30,000 people are converging at this tiny village located amid thick forests to offer prayers as they apprehend inconvenience once the jatara begins. Officials say about 60 lakh people turn up at the biennial tribal fare which was declared as a State festival by the Government. People throng to worship of tribal goddess Sammakka and her daughter Sarakka with offer of jaggery which symbolises gold.

Arrangements

The State government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 35 crore to make massive arrangements for a smooth conduct of the event. For three days, the whole village and surrounding hamlets turns out to be a sea of humanity with every possible transport visible.

All the roads leading to the village are being widened, so are the culverts, black topping of roads, construction of bathing ghats on either sides of Jampanna vagu, construction of 6,000 toilets and fitting of 1,600 water taps are going on at brisk pace at the site.On Thursday, Tribal Welfare Minister D. S. Redya Naik, Mulug MLA Podem Veeraiah and joint Collector K. Srinivasa Raju are reviewing the arrangements and ongoing civil works. The Minister instructed the officials to complete all works by February 15. He said the APSRTC would operate 22,500 buses for the jatara. Two temporary bus stands were set up one for alighting and boarding on the outksirts of Medaram.

VIP visitors

Tribals and non-tribals from different parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are expected at the jatara which will be on for three days.

Meanwhile, the district police took over the entire venue and deployed men at important places all over the forest area. Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy is expected to visit Medaram on February 18 along with Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah.

Movie artiste Vijayashanti and TRS president K. Chandrashekhara Rao are also expected .

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