The Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom has called upon the Government to reconsider the decision to shift Pathanamthitta District Collector, T.T. Antony, lest it could adversely affect the smooth conduct of the ongoing Sabarimala pilgrim season.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, ABASS national vice-president, D.Vijayakumar, said the Collector, being the district-level co-ordinator, has been instrumental in ensuring better co-ordination among various government departments at Sabarimala.

Moreover, he is also the chairman of the Sabarimala Sanitation Society. Mr Antony has successfully implemented certain effective schemes to check fleecing of pilgrims at shops and eateries at Sabarimala as well as various base camps in the district. Shifting of the Collector mid-way of the pilgrim season would only undo his initiatives to ensure a smooth pilgrimage to Sabarimala this year, ABASS leader alleged.

Moreover, the successor of Mr Antony would get little time to study the Sabarimala affairs at this juncture, Mr Vijayakumar added.

Hindu Aikyavedi

In another statement, the Hindu Aikyavedi State secretary, K.Haridas, alleged that the decision to shift the District Collector, disregarding its negative impacts on the ongoing Sabarimala pilgrimage, was unwarranted.

Mr Haridas alleged that the Government decision was a testimony to its casual approach towards Sabarimala affairs.

He said Mr Antony has taken praiseworthy initiatives for the smooth conduct of the Sabarimala pilgrim season.

Moreover, his transfer would also affect the ongoing survey of the traditional Thiruvabharanam path and to clear all encroachments on either side of it, he alleged.

The Hindu Aikyavedi leader further called upon the Government to revoke its decision to shift the Collector with out any further delay.

It is also a fact that Mr Antony’s firm stand against illegal sand mining, paddy field conversion, hill demolition, encroachment of revenue lands in different parts of the district has irritated many powerful political quarters in the district, he alleged.

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