Nair Service Society (NSS) general secretary P K Narayana Panicker has submitted a detailed report for development of Sabarimala to the Prime Minister. The decision to take up the issue with the Prime Minister’s office, was made following the discussions the NSS secretary Mr G Sukumaran Nair had with TKA Nair, principal secretary to the Prime Minister.
The report which focuses on the development of Sabarimala without affecting the traditions and customs of the shrine, calls for declaring Sabarimala as a National Pilgrim Centre and for greater coordination among the Travancore Devaswom Board, the Centre and governments of Kerala and those of other States from were large number of devotees arrive for the pilgrimage. This coordination can be achieved without interfering in the rights of the TDB and the State government, the report pointed out.
The report stresses the need for putting in place a comprehensive pilgrim management scheme including crisis management component. The examples set by pilgrim management at Hardwar, Vaishno Devi, Tirupathy and during Hajj should be studied and adapted for the pilgrim season at Sabarimala where a large number of pilgrims converge for a short period of time.
The development of base camps and pilgrim shelter en route the hill shrine, appointment of of liaison officers from various States to coordinate and help pilgrims from their respective States and the need to put in place an effective waste management scheme have also been stressed in the report.
It points out that so far no study has been done regarding the pilgrim movement in connection with the Sabarimala pilgrimage. One of the immediate steps should be the conduct of a baseline study which would throw light into the movement of pilgrims on different days of the pilgrimage. This would go a long way in planning security and welfare measures.
The Master Plan for Sabarimala should be chalked out with a 100 year perspective, the report said and added that the competency of the agencies entrusted with the Master Plan should be assured. The implementation of the Plan should in no way affect the traditions and customs of the temple and only such agencies should be entrusted with the preparation of the Plan, the report said.
The report also calls for establishing a code of conduct for all connected with the pilgrimage so that the pilgrim’s rights and self-respect could be ensured. According to the report, the planning an preparations for the pilgrimage, should be an year round effort, though the pilgrim season runs for only less then three months. The report also calls for an effective administrative mechanism for the conduct of the Sabarimala pilgrimage.