IPOH: Stall operators have been told to stop selling burgers to reduce littering during Thaipusam.

The Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah and the City Council have decided on the ban after the sales were found to have largely contributed to the littering.

The organisation’s chairman, R.V. Suppiah, said: “During our discussions with the council, we agreed there should no longer be burger stalls as wrappers have been found littering the fields at D.R. Seenivasagam Park and Padang Ipoh.

“We encourage stall owners to sell vegetarian food instead since this is a religious occasion.”

Suppiah said there would be ample bins for devotees and visitors to throw rubbish.

He said the Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh would give away 10,000 packets of food for lunch, and the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Buntong would also give 5,000 packets of food on Thaipusam day.

“There will be also a lot of thannir panthal (water stations) in the compounds of the temples where people will distribute water and food,” he said.

Suppiah said the temple authorities were expecting about 350,000 devotees and visitors for the celebrations.

There would be about 5,000 milk pot bearers and also 4,000 devotees taking part in the “hair offering” at Kallumalai temple.

“The temple committee has engaged about 50 barbers who will shave the heads of devotees wanting to give their hair as an offering,” he said.

To make it more comfortable for those present, Suppiah said, mobile toilets would be provided at the two temples, at DR Seenivasagan Park and Ipoh Padang and at Little India in Jalan Lahat.

The chariot from Mariamman temple will leave for the Kallumalai temple at 6.30am tomorrow and is expected to reach its destination at noon. It will return to the Mariamman temple at 3pm on Friday.

Several roads will be temporarily closed during the chariot procession.

Suppiah urged devotees and visitors to adhere to the dress code set by the temple management.

“We also hope there will not be incidents such as spraying paint on women,” he said.

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