The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, has been appointed the official consultant of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) for providing technical guidance to ensure the quality of Aravana, Appam, and other prasadom preparation at Sabarimala, Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar who is also the Chief Commissioner of the board, has said.
He was talking to mediapersons at Sabarimala on Sunday after inspecting the Nilackal base camp, Pampa, and Sabarimala to review the arrangements for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season that begins in mid-November. He said the decision on the CFTRI’s appointment came in the wake of the suggestions of the Kerala High Court, the Food Safety Commissioner, and Ayyappa devotees.
Mr. Jayakumar said the TDB would procure quality jaggery for Aravana and Appam preparation directly from manufacturers with a proven track record. Tender had been invited to supply jaggery directly to the TDB godown at Pampa, he said.
He said the TDB godown would be modernised and the facility at the material testing laboratory of the Food Safety Department expanded.
Six schemes being implemented at the Nilackal base camp by the high-power committee for the Sabarimala master plan would be completed before October 31. These include setting up of vehicle parking lots, construction of a water tank, a check-dam in the natural stream, a retiring centre for drivers, and installation of a high-mast light. He said the TDB would give the wage arrears of all the workers on the Nilackal Estate before Onam.
Road-widening along the Sabaripeedham-Appachimedu stretch of the Pampa-Sannidhanam trekking path would be undertaken in liaison with the Forest Department. A three-storey building would be built for the Government Hospital at Pampa with the assistance of the National Rural Health Mission after demolishing the building there, he said.