Chief Minister, V.S.Achuthanandan, will visit Pampa on the foothills of Sabarimala on November 15, to review the arrangements being made by the Travancore Devaswom Board as well as various government departments for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival, that begins on November 16.
Talking to The Hindu, Mr K.Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary and Chief Commissioner of Travancore Devasom Board, said the preparations launched by the TDB and various government departments for the smooth conduct of the annual Sabarimala festival have entered its final phase and the arrangements would be in place in next three days.
Mr Jayakumar has called a meeting of the popular committees at various base camps in Pathanamthitta on Monday afternoon, to review the arrangements being made at the base camps. He will also be inspecting Nilackal, Pampa and Sannidhanam on Tuesday.
The roofing work of the pathway leading to the Maha Ganapati Temple from Triveni at Pampa Manalpuram on the foothills of Sabarimala was fast progressing and it would be completed in the next three days.
Mr Jayakumar said, the number of shops and hotels at Pampa Manalpuram has been reduced by 30 per cent, with a view to provide more free space for the pilgrims to take rest on the banks of river Pampa.
A resting place has also been prepared in an extent of 10,000 sq ft at Pampa.
Work on the cardiology centre buildings at Appachimedu and Neelimala-Top has been completed and will be inaugurated on November 15. TDB has also constructed a double-storey pilgrim amenity centre at
Appachimedu and toilet complexes in the trekking path. As many as 160 latrines have been constructed on the trekking path, besides 360 new latrines and 80 bathrooms at the Sannidhanam.
Roofing work of the flyover leading to Malikappuram at the Sannidhanam too will be completed in the next few days. Repair and maintenance work on various buildings at Pampa and the Sannidhanam too has been completed.
Mr Jayakumar said the government as well as the TDB have also taken steps to improve the facilities at the base camps at Nilackal, Pandalam, Erumely, Vadasserikkara, etc.
The Sabarimala Sanitation Society has recruited as many as 550 sanitation workers from Tamil Nadu with the help of the Tamil Nadu unit of Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom. SSS chaired by Pathanamthitta Collector would deploy sanitation workers at Sannidhanam, Paandithavalam, Pampa, Nilackal, Pandalam, Vadasserikkara, Erumely and along the trekking path during the two-month-long festival.
Mr Jayakumar said the Delhi-based Sulabh International has been entrusted with the task of scientific upkeep and trouble-free running of the toilet complexes at Pampa and Nilackal during the pilgrim season.
He said makeshift steel urinals have also been installed along the Marakkoottom-Sannidhanam Chandranandan Road as part of an effort to keep the pathway clean hygienic.
Ministers to visit Pampa
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Devaswom Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran, Water Resources Minister N.K.Premachandran, Health Minister P.K.Sreemathy, Forest Minister Binoy Viswom, Transport Minister Jose Thettayil and Minister for Public Works, P.J.Joseph are also expected to attend the review meeting to be held at Pampa on November 15.