Website, SMS to provide information about queue status, parking position at Nilackal and Pampa

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here on Sunday that the government would ensure round-the-year security at Sabarimala by employing advanced electronic gadgets and cameras.

The Minister was talking to The Hindu after taking stock of the police arrangements at Sabarimala.

Mr. Balakrishnan, accompanied by Devaswom Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran and Additional Director-General of Police P. Chandrashekharan, reached the Sannidhanam on Saturday night. He inaugurated a digital monitoring system at the police control room and launched a police website on Sabarimala, earlier, at Pampa.

The Minister said the police had installed 20 advanced cameras with night-vision facility at select points at the Pampa, the Sannidhanam and along the trekking path to monitor crowd movement. The visuals received from the cameras will be recorded at the police control room at Pampa. Mr. Balakrishnan said the digital monitoring system at Sabarimala would function round the year, taking into consideration its importance as a national pilgrim centre.


The Minister said a website for Sabarimala pilgrims that he launched on Saturday was aimed at improving the pilgrim-friendly approach of the Kerala police, particularly during the pilgrim season. He said the website will provide basic information about the pilgrimage. The website is in English, Malayalam Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. It will give information on various aspects such as rush of pilgrims, status of queue to enter the Ayyappa temple, vehicular flow and latest position on parking at various lots at Nilackal and Pampa, weather conditions, persons as well as articles reportedly lost, warnings issued by the TDB and various government agencies, puja timings, etc., besides a photo gallery. He said the information would be uploaded every hour during the pilgrim season.

Mr. Balakrishnan said pilgrims could also get information on the queue status, weather conditions, availability of parking space and emergency help by sending an SMS to 537252. The format for sending SMS is as follows: Enquiry on the queue position: SBML (space) Q; Weather warnings: SBML (space) W; Availability of vehicle parking space: SBML (space) P; Emergency help: SBML (space) HELP (SPACE) message.

The software for the website has been developed by the Crime Records Bureau attached to the Kerala police and the digital installation has been executed by the State-owned Keltron. The Kerala State Information Mission, the Linguistic Department attached to the University of Kerala and the Andhra Pradesh police are the other agencies that have extended support to the venture, he added.

Mr. Balakrishnan inspected the appam-aravana plants, temple precincts, police barracks and mess at the Sannidhanam on Sunday.

He has also called on Tantri Kandarau Rajeevaru and Melsanthi Ezhikode Sasi Namboodiri.