The arrangements of basic facilities for Sabarimala pilgrims arriving in Idukki district as part of the Makaravilakku festival have been completed. The extra facilities are made as per the order of the High Court and Hariharan Nair commission which inquired in to the stampede at Pulmedu last year causing the death of 102 people who thronged to witness the Makrajyothi there.
The District Collector had issued order in this regard giving additional responsibilities to various departments and government officials. Only vehicles with good working condition will be allowed on the road from Kakkikavala to Sathram and from Sathram to Vallakkadavu. At Uppupara, a temporary barricade has been erected by the Public Works Department.
The places where the Sabarimala pilgrims throng to witness the Makarajyothi in the district are Pulmedu, Panchalimedu and Parunthumpara. In the last two places, the PWD officials and the police will control the entry of pilgrims. The grama panchayats in these areas will make arrangements for light connection and drinking water facilities.
In Pulmedu and Uppupara, the forest department and the water department will make arrangements for providing the drinking water. On Uppupara, Pulmedu and Sathram road, 25 Aska mobile light tower will be set up.
The work to set up generators from Kozhikkanam to Pulmedu has been started to provide light facilities as the area is under the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The ambulance facilities will be available at Kumily, Vandiperiyar Pulmedu and Sathram. The personnel of the Fire and Rescue Services will be available there. Medical units will be set up at all the prime areas where the pilgrims throng and the help of the Ham radio operators will also be available at remote areas.
The District Collector has also given direction to launch joint and co-ordinated action between the Fire and Rescue Service and the police in all the sensitive spots on the Makaravilakku day on January 14 and the following day.