Sri Pada chock-a-block

Tailbacks stretch for nearly ten kilometres

Pilgrims stuck without drinking water

All roads leading to Nallathanni congested

Influx attributed to long weekend

By Gamini Bandara Illanganthilaka

Over 500,000 pilgrims had visited Sri Pada via Nallathanniya and Kuruwita over the weekend, Chief Incumbent there Ven. Thalgaskande Vajira thera said.

Long lines of vehicles stretched along the Nallathnniya-Maskeliya road from the Maussakele Junction towards Norton Bridge for nearly ten kilometers, according to pilgrims. As the Nallathanniya township lacks ample parking space vehicle transporting pilgrims from all parts of the country have to park on either side of the main road. Although a shuttle bus service was in operation from Nallathanni, a large number of pilgrims had to turn back, unable to proceed.

The road via the Norton Bridge and the Diyagala Junction to the Maussakele Junction was also heavily congested.

A senior police officer of the Nallathanniya station said the stretch of the footpath from the Seethgangula the Sri Pada temple had been congested due to the influx of pilgrims on Saturday night. The pilgrims complained that they had not been stuck in some places for several hours.

Police had put in place a special security arrangement for the benefit of pilgrims.

The Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha took action to provide drinking water to the pilgrims but it could not cater to all of them. Wayside eateries also ran out of stocks of water causing hardships to the pilgrims.

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