The High Power Committee for implementation of Sabarimala Master Plan has completed the work on the Bailey Bridge-cum-diversion road linking Sabarimala Sannidhanam with the Chandranandan Road, making it a landmark achievement materialised in a short span of 90 days.
The work on the road project began in August after a series of technical studies and deliberations. The 425 metre-long five-metre wide new road has been constructed through the forests in the otherwise difficult terrains of Sabarimala.
The Chennai-based Pithavadian and Partners Limited has prepared the detailed design and project report. The road work estimated at Rs 1.22 crore was executed by the Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation.
The architect has designed the road as a combination of ramps and steps superbly blending with the contours of the forest terrain.
Mr K.Jayakumar, HPC chairman, told The Hindu that the new road would be utilised as the exit route for pilgrims returning from the Sannidhanam after the holy darshan with a view to ease congestion on the trekking path during the pilgrim season.
Mr Jayakumar said this exit route was a major recommendation in the Sabarimala Master Plan prepared by the Delhi-based Ecosmart India attached to IL & FS Limited.
The Madras Engineer Group of Indian Army has constructed a Bailey Bridge across the check dam near at a cost of Rs 75 lakhs.
It took only 25 days for the Army men led by Col. Muraleedharan to construct the 40-metre long, 3.3-metre wide bridge. It was an arduous task for the team to bring the giant iron girders required for the bridge from Pampa to Sannidhanam with the help of tractors.
The concreting of the road has also been completed the other day and the curing process is under way.
A technical committee comprising the Travancore Devaswom board Chief Engineer, K.Ravikumar, Executive Engineer, Jolly Ullas, Shyam Prasad, Assistant Engineer, and Architect Mahesh of Pithavadian Partners Limited has been continuously monitoring the progress of work.
Mr Jayakumar said installation of solar lamps and other beautification along the new road would also be carried out in a time-bound fashion.
Meanwhile, incessant rains in the forests have affected the progress of work on the two queue under way at Sabaripeedhom and Saramkuthi.
To all indications, the queue complex at Saramkuthi is quite unlikely to complete before the beginning of the pilgrim season on November 16.
However, official sources told The Hindu that one among the three units attached to the Sabaripeedhom Queue Complex will be completed while the HPC would be forced to stop the work on the other two units till the pilgrim season was over in mid-January, 2012.