GOMBAK: Several roads leading to the Batu Caves temple will be closed to traffic in conjunction with the upcoming Thaipusam festival on Jan 21.
The roads that will be fully closed from 5pm on Jan 17 to Jan 24 are Kampung Melayu Batu Caves traffic light (Al-Amaniah mosque), Batu Caves exit from MRR2, Jalan Perusahaan to the Batu Caves
Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple and the Sri Gombak MRR2 exit heading towards Jalan Perusahaan.
From Jan 18 to 24, the third junction along Jalan SBC8 and Jalan Batu Caves Lama will be closed from 7am onwards.
"Our main priority is to ensure the safety of the devotees and visitors to the temple during the festival," said Gombak OCPD Asst Comm Samsor Mansor during a press conference at the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Temple on Friday (Jan 11).
ACP Samsor said his team is expecting a huge crowd and he hopes the public will cooperate with the traffic officers on duty during the festival.
There will be more than 1500 police officers on duty from Jan 18 onwards while another 240 traffic officers will be stationed at 31 locations to ensure a smooth traffic flow around the temple area including designated parking spots.
"We will issue summonses to those found obstructing the traffic flow as well as motorists who park haphazardly," he said.
Also present was the temple committee headed by chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah who is expecting a larger crowd this year.
"We had about 1.5 million devotees coming to the temple before but Thaipusam falls close to a weekend this year, so we are expecting a higher turnout, somewhere near 1.6 million," said Nadarajah
He added that Thaipusam is celebrated over three days starting Jan 19 and said the Silver Chariot will leave the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee on Jan 19 at 10pm sharp and will reach Batu Caves the following day at 2.30pm.
The chariot will only return to Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 22.