Virtual queue system for darshan evokes good response
The police have made elaborate security arrangements at Sabarimala for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season that begins on Friday.
Talking to The Hindu, P. Chandrashekharan, Additional Director General of Police who is also the Police Chief Co-ordinator at Sabarimala, said a total of 1,100 police personnel were deployed at the Sannidhanam. This was besides the 140-strong company of the Rapid Action Force of the Central Reserve Police Force deployed at the holy hillock, he said. Another company of the National Disaster Response Force of the CRPF also was deployed at Sabarimala and Pampa.
P. Vijayan, Thrissur City Police Commissioner, is the Police Special Officer at the Sannidhanam.
Mr. Chandrashekharan said the Kerala Police deployed Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads, Quick Action Team personnel and Special Intelligence teams at the Sannidhanam, Pampa, and Nilackal.
According to him, the police at Sabarimala are well-equipped to meet any emergency situation.
The trekking path between Marakkoottom and Saramkuthi as well as Valiyanadappanthal and Lower Tirumuttom have been divided into different sectors, leaving free space in between, with a view to easing human pressure and avert stampede during the rush days of the pilgrim season.
He said specially trained police personnel were posted at the Holy 18-Steps (Pathinettampady). Closed circuit televisions and spy cameras were installed at different points as part of security arrangements at the pilgrim centre.
Mr. Chandrashekharan said a total of 800 police personnel were deployed at Pampa, Nilackal, and at Plappally-Pampa stretch of the main trunk road.
P.N. Unnirajan is the Police Special Officer at Pampa. Parking of vehicles on the roadside from Nilackal to Pampa would not be permitted. This is to check traffic bottlenecks during the pilgrim season.
Mr. Chandrashekharan said the online registration for holy darshan utilising the virtual queue system introduced by the Police Department was getting good response, especially from devotees from outside the State.
According to him, 2,91,000 devotees have already registered for the facility this pilgrim season. As many as 7.5 lakh pilgrims availed themselves of the facility last year. This time the police expect registration of at least 32 lakh pilgrims.
Mr. Vijayan said the Punyam Poonkavanom project launched by the Police Department at the Sannidhanam last year would be a continuing campaign to keep the holy hillock clean. Tantri Kandararu Rajeevararu would inaugurate this year’s campaign on Friday morning, he said.