A crisis management group comprising police and Central forces will be set up at Sabarimala soon to meet any eventuality at the pilgrim centre during the ongoing Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival season, said Mr K.Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary and Chief Commissioner of Travancore Devaswom Board.

Mr Jayakumar was talking to reporters at Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Tuesday. He said the structure of the proposed crisis management group would be finalised in consultation with the Additional Director

General of Police, P.Chandrashekharan who is also the Chief Police Co-ordinator for Sabarimala.

He said additional police force would be deployed at Sabarimala Sannidhanam and on the trekking path in view of the heavy influx of devotees since the past few days.

An additional force of 60 police constables would be deployed along the Marakoottom-Lower Tirumuttom stretch, besides additional deployment of cops for each segment, he added.

He said the flaws in the design of barricades at Marakkootom would be rectified by redesigning the segment near the foot overbridge at Marakkotom into a funnel-shaped one.

He said co-ordination of police and Central forces would be ensured.

Heavy rush

Sabarimala Sannidhanam continued to witness heavy rush on Tuesday.

Police have blocked the pilgrims at Pampa on the foothills of Sabarimala from 2 pm on Tuesday to ease the human pressure at the holy hillock.

Pilgrims had to wait for 10 to 12 hours in the long-winding queue on the trekking path to reach the temple precincts and there instances of small children and elderly people fainting inside the iron barricades

at Marakkoottom and on the Saramkuthi path.

The arrangements made by the TDB for drinking water supply to pilgrims waiting in the iron barricades was grossly inadequate to meet the pilgrims’ needs on Tuesday.

The Ayyappa Seva Sanghom volunteers and the National Disaster Response Force personnel have supplied drinking water to devotees who were found weary of the long wait inside the barricades.

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