The State Police have made elaborate preparations for crowd management and avert any untoward incident at Sabarimala as surrounding base camps of pilgrims during the Makaravilakku festival, P. Chandrashekharan, Additional Director General of Police has said.
Addressing a press conference at Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Sunday, the ADGP has said that the Pampa-bound vehicles carrying pilgrims would be stopped at Nilackal, instead of other places like Plappally and Attathode, to ease the pilgrim pressure at Pampa and Sabarimala during the rush days of the Makaravilakku festival.
He said the vehicles stopped at Nilackal would be diverted to the parking lots at the Nilackal base camp for releasing them periodically.
Mr Chandrashekharan said the department have taken extensive measures as prescribed by Justice Hariharan Nair Commission that inquired into the Pulumedu stampede tragedy that had claimed 52 innocent lives on the Makaravilakku day in 2011.
The Commission had recommended 45 key suggestions to avert mishaps on the Makaravilakku day when multitude of pilgrims congregate at Sabarimala and surrounding hills to worship the star, Makarajyoti, and the deeparadhana performed at Ponnambalamedu, a hill facing the Sannidhanam.
Mr Chandrashekharan said double barricades would be erected at all Makarajyoti viewing points, besides providing drinking water and light at these places.
Police would also make appropriate arrangements at Pullumedu, Panchalimedu, Uppupara, Parunthumpara, in Idukki district, and at Angamoozhy Attathode, Panjippara and Laha in Pathanamthitta district where a large number of Ayyappa devotees congregate to worship Makarajyoti on the Makaravilakku day, he said.
The ADGP and Deputy Inspector General of Police would camp at the Sannidhanam, the Inspector General of Police would camp at Pampa and the District Superintendent of Pathanamthitta would camp at Nilackal base camp to co-ordinate the pilgrim management at these places on the Makaravilakku day.
Mr Chandrashekharan said the police would also take elaborate crowd control at Pampa and Sabarimala as and when necessary.
Heavy rush continues
Meanwhile, the pilgrim inflow to Sabarimala continued to be heavy on Sunday.
The flow of pilgrims was reportedly heavy through the Karimala route and the Pullumedu route.
Pilgrims had to wait inside the crowded barricades along the trekking path for hour together to reach the temple premises on Sunday.