THERE was a large number of uniformed personnel on duty during Thaipusam this year to maintain order.
Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Federal Reserve Unit and Rela members were seen doing their rounds at the temple complex and surrounding areas in Batu Caves yesterday.
Prem Kumaresan, 45, said there was greater security this year compared to his previous visits.
“I have been coming here for the last 10 years. Previously, police presence was limited and could not control the huge crowd.
“Often, shouting and fighting will break out, disrupting the festival.
“This year, however, the crowd is better managed and I have also seen fewer parking touts around,” he said, adding that traffic flow had also improved.
Thaipusam Task Force volunteers were also seen managing the crowd, especially those carrying kavadi.
They helped to clear the path for the larger and more elaborate ones.
Many visitors also said that more rubbish bins had been placed around the temple compound.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see volunteers in red vests from Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) holding signs to indicate where the bins were,” Velashini Subramaniam, 25, said.
“People made an effort to throw their rubbish into these bins instead of on the ground.
“However, many of the bins were overflowing,” she said.
Some two million people are expected to visit Batu Caves during Thaipusam with traders enjoying brisk business.
Many visitors were seen checking out a special exhibition to celebrate 125 years of Thaipusam in Batu Caves.
It features photographs and documents which chronicle the development of the festival since 1891.
The exhibition is free and open until Feb 8.