Stresses need for cleanliness at donor houses, pilgrim shelters

Kerala High Court Judge Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan has said that the high power committee for implementation of Sabarimala master plan and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) should explore the possibility of easing the steepness of the diversion route via the Bailey Bridge so as to make the pilgrims voluntarily take up the route for their return journey from Sabarimala after the pilgrimage.

The Judge, accompanied by K. Babu, Special Commissioner appointed by the High Court, was inspecting the diversion route and Bailey Bridge during his visit to Sabarimala on Sunday. Mr. Radhakrishnan stressed the need to ensure better cleanliness and hygiene at various donor houses and pilgrim shelters at Sabarimala. He said the TDB officials at the Sannidhanam should make sure that the contractor concerned was doing his job properly.

The Special Commissioner too had reported about the improper upkeep of the donor houses to the High Court on October 10. The TDB has 600 rooms at the seven donor houses and the three pilgrim centres at the Sannidhanam.

The Judge directed TDB chief engineer K. Ravikumar to take necessary steps to provide urinals and benches by setting up resting places for the pilgrims along the Pampa-Marakkoottom Swami Ayyappan Road. Inspecting the large fire place, Aazhi, at the Lower Tirumuttom, the Judge suggested replacing its iron fencing with protection walls with a view to ensuring safety of pilgrims waiting in the queue.

Mr. Radhakrishnan also interacted with devotees, seeking their suggestions on various pilgrim facilities.

The Judge and the Special Commissioner took part in the Punyam Poonkavanam cleaning drive at Sabarimala in the morning. Mr. Radhakrishnan was all praise for the Punyam Poonkavanam project. The project envisaged everyday cleaning of the pilgrim centre by the staff on duty as well as the devotees.

The Judge visited the Nilackal base camp and Erumely before leaving for Kochi.

Meanwhile, the Special Commissioner told The Hindu that he had already directed the revenue authorities as well as the TDB to take urgent measures to clean the highly polluted canal flowing by the side of the Sastha temple at Erumely.

The Judge also held discussions with K. Jayakumar, Chief Coordinator; N. Vasu, Devaswom Commissioner; Mr. Ravikumar; and K. Sankaranarayana Pillai, Sabarimala Executive Officer; on various arrangements in place for the pilgrims.

More In: Kerala | National