A review meeting of the authorities concerned on Friday put forth proposals to improve pilgrim facilities at Erumeli during the ensuing Mandalam-Makravilakku season. Erumeli is one of the key base camps for Sabarimala pilgrims. The meet decided to buy an ambulance for the government hospital. The expenses will be borne by P.C. George, MLA, from his local area development fund.

The district panchayat will consider a proposal to install solar lamps on the traditional forest route to Lord Ayyappa Temple.

The norms for the maintenance of wayside lamps may be changed by entrusting the year-round maintenance to the contractor, instead of taking up repairs in connection with the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season. Measures are being taken to ensure availability and quality of water at open sources, including rivulets, during the season. A proposal has been mooted to bring water to Valiakadavu, the bathing ghat near the Sreedharma Sastha Temple (Valiambalam) on the Valiathode, through pipes from a captive area either at Orumkal Kadavu or Koratty at the confluence of the Manimala River with Valiathode.

This will necessitate the construction of a check-dam, laying of pipes and pumping facility.

Another project to ensure water in Erumeli Thode is on the anvil. The Rs.2.15-crore project, being taken up under the River Management Fund, will include cleaning the rivulet, strengthening its sides with side walls, and covering the water body with net to ensure the quality of water. District Collector Ajit Kumar has been entrusted with the responsibility.

The authorities have expressed concern over the health hazards caused by use of coloured powders by devotees during the ceremonial dance (petta thullal). They are looking for alternatives that would be less hazardous.

The various departments are expected to come up with their own respective action plans to be implemented at the base camp.

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