Chief Minister convenes meeting to discuss preparations for pilgrim season

The government has decided to sanction an additional sum of Rs.155.89 crore for repairing and upgrading the roads to Sabarimala in connection with the approaching pilgrimage season.

In a press release here on Thursday, Minister for Devaswom V.S. Sivakumar said this decision was taken at a meeting convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for discussing the preparations for the pilgrimage season. Finance Minister K.M. Mani announced the decision, the press release said.

The Pampa- Marakoottam- Swami Ayyappan Road would be upgraded with another layer of concrete. The construction of a bridge at Kanamala would be completed before the start of the season.

The drinking water supply system too would be improved in the area by laying a new pipeline parallel to the existing one from Sannidhanam to Pampa.

Mr. Sivakumar said particular care was being taken this time to ensure good coordination in the functioning of the government departments involved in the activities connected with the management of the heavy influx of pilgrims to the hill temple during the season.

One floor of the Arogya Bhavan (Health Centre) being built at Pampa would be ready for functioning before the start of the season. There would be new fair price medical shops (Karunya Medical Stores) at Pampa and Sannidhanam.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would run more number of buses than in the past to Sabarimala from major centres in the State. Measures to ensure food safety and prevent unauthorised shops from operating in the area would be strengthened. Panchayats in the area would receive a grant of Rs.1.55 crore for their activities in connection with the pilgrimage.

Mr. Sivakumar said a new flyover would come up at Malikappuram to manage the flow of pilgrims.

The Lower Thirumuttam area in front of the temple would be renovated. Two new structures for ‘annadanam’ (distribution of food to pilgrims) would come up there.

A new underpass would be constructed at Marakkoottam. A sum of Rs.4.5 crore had been sanctioned for constructing canteens for policemen at the Sannidhanam and Pampa.

Ministers Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Aryadan Mohammed, K.C. Joseph, Adoor Prakash, M.K. Muneer, and V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, Government Chief Whip P.C. George, Travancore Devaswom Board president M.P. Govindan Nair, board member Subhash Vasu, Director General of Police K.S. Balasubramanian, Devaswom Secretary K.R. Jyothilal, Devaswom Commissioner P. Venugopal, and heads of various other government departments attended the meeting, the press release said.