Special arrangements have been made in Idukki district for Sabarimala pilgrims in connection with the Mandala-Makaravilakku festival.
As part of it, special security measures will be done in all forest paths including the Azhuthakkadavu-Pampa route. A Fire and Rescue team unit will be started at Uppupara from January 1 and two units were already started at Kumily and Vandiperiyar, the main towns on the Sabarimala route which witness heavy traffic and vehicles from other States also move through it. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation will ply more buses depending on the rush of the pilgrims and new bus services will be launched on Kumily-Kozhikkanam route.
On the Makaravilakku day, about 70 buses will ply on the route. Private vehicles and taxis will be controlled on the Vallakkadavu-Sathram route. Barricade will be constructed at dangerous areas in Panchalimedu and light arrangements will also be made available in areas where pilgrims throng. In the main junctions in Kumily sign boards will be set up in five languages - English, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada.
Those who open eateries and other shops on the Sabarimala route should get prior permission and shops that hinder the road traffic will not be given permission.
The District Collector has also given direction to the District Medical Officer and the tahsildars to check the quality of food items served to the pilgrims and the prices should be prominently displayed in the shops.