Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has directed the Forest Department not to block development projects at Sabarimala and sort out the issue through dialogue.

He was reviewing the arrangements for the Sabarimala pilgrim season at Pampa on Thursday.

Mr. Chandy was responding to complaints raised by the Travancore Devaswom Board, Kerala State Electricity Board and other organisations that development works had been hit at Sabarimala, hampering efforts to improve basic facilities at the pilgrim centre.

Sort out issues: CM

The Chief Minister said instead of blocking works at Sabarimala, forest personnel should discuss the matter with the department or the agency concerned and sort out the issue.

Mr. Chandy said the forest personnel should approach him, if they could not find an amicable solution to any issue confronting them at Sabarimala.

He said the government and the TDB were trying to ensure all amenities at Sabarimala for the pilgrim season. KSEB officials complained that they could not carry out pre-pilgrim season repair and maintenance of high tension power transmission lines passing through Ponnambalamedu as the Forest Department was yet to give permission.

The Chief Minister directed the Forest Department to keep the gates open for the KSEB to carry out the maintenance work to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Sabarimala during the pilgrim season.

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation authorities said the corporation would deploy 100 new buses for operating services to Pampa during the pilgrim season.

Virtual queue

ADGP A.Hemachandran said bookings for the virtual queue system for holy darshan at the Ayyappa temple crossed one lakh on Wednesday.

Devaswom Commissioner P.Venugopal said the TDB had decided not to charge user fee for toilets at Sabarimala and Pandalam.

Presiding over the meeting, Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar said the work on the ground floor of the Government Hospital at Pampa would be completed before the beginning of the pilgrim season on November 16.

Mr. Hemachandran said the police had prepared a comprehensive security system for Sabarimala.

More In: Kerala | National