TDB for executing pilgrim amenity projects in a time-bound manner

The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple has registered a record revenue collection of Rs.203.15 crore during the just-concluded 63-day Mandalam-Makaravilakku season, according to Subhash Vasu, Travancore Devaswom Board member.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Vasu said the revenue collection at Sabarimala recorded a 16 per cent growth compared to the previous pilgrim season’s collection of Rs.175.85 crore.

The revenue during the 41-day Mandalam pilgrim season that came to a close on December 26 was Rs.135.32 crore against the previous season’s revenue collection worth Rs.115.69 crore.

Similarly, the revenue collected during the Makaravilakku festival between December 30 and January 20 was Rs.67.83 crore against the Rs.59.85 crore revenue collected during the previous Makaravilakku season.

The revenue generated by way of Aravana and Appam sales alone during the two-month pilgrim season was Rs.79.89 crore and Rs.14.43 crore, respectively.

The Hundi collection (kaanicka) offering by devotees during the period was Rs.78.54 crore. Mr. Vasu said the computerisation of the accommodation office too helped a lot in ensuring a substantial increase in the Devaswom revenue by way of room rent.

He said the revenue collected by way of room rent alone was Rs.2.67 crore and Rs.1.32 crore during the 41-day Mandalam season and the 21-day Makaravilakku festival.

He said the Travancore Devaswom Board officials at the accommodation office took special care to check misuse of rooms and subsequent erosion of Devaswom revenue during the rush days of the Makaravilakku festival.

Mr. Vasu said the board would see to it that various key projects planned as part of the Sabarimala Master Plan were implemented in a time-bound manner so that the devotees would be benefited during the next annual pilgrim season.

STP work begins

Devaswom Commissioner P. Venugopal told The Hindu that the work on the proposed 5-mld sewage treatment plant (STP) at Sabarimala had already been started.

The Ramky Infrastructure Limited had undertaken the work on the STP estimated at Rs.22.8 crore and the project would be ready for commissioning in the next 20 months itself, he said.

27 queue complexes

Mr. Vasu said TDB was very much particular in implementing the proposed 27 queue complexes on the Marakkoottom-Sannidhanam path, estimated at a total of Rs.27 crore, before the beginning of the next pilgrim season.

He said construction of a double-storey Valiyanadappanthal at the Sannidhanam had become a dire necessity to ease the ever-increasing human pressure at the holy hillock.

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