Steps to augment sewage treatment and water supply will be taken up before the next season at Sabarimala besides improvement of roads and parking facilities, Minister for Transport and Devaswoms V.S. Sivakumar said on Tuesday.
The Minister was speaking to the media after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here to review the performance during the just-concluded pilgrimage season at Sabarimala and plan for the next season.
Mr. Sivakumar said that tenders for a new sewage treatment plant at Sabarimala would be called in April. The capacity of the plant at Pampa would be increased. A pipeline would be laid from Pampa to the Sannidhanam parallel to the existing line for water supply. The capacity of the Kunnar dam supplying water to Sabarimala would be augmented.
A second storey would be constructed for the existing ‘nadapanthal' at the Sannidhanam and roofing would be provided from Pampa to Marakoottam. It would be possible to accommodate about 40,000 pilgrims on the second floor to be constructed at a cost of Rs.27 crore. The queue complex would be expanded by adding two sectors more.
A new Appam-Aravana plant would be built at a cost of Rs.12 crore and money for these would be raised through sponsorships. Heavy maintenance of 74 km of roads leading to Sabarimala would be undertaken by the Public Works Department at a cost of Rs.58.45 crore.
He said that land would be provided for new hospitals at Pampa and the Sannidhanam while the Nilackal hospital would start functioning full time. Necessary land would be allocated to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) at Nilackal for its operations. Land would also be given to the Police Department for a mess.
A parking ground would be prepared at Nilackal at a cost of Rs.40 crore. The Vandiperiyar Mount Estate-Sathram road would be widened to facilitate operation of KSRTC buses from next season.
Replying to a question, the Minister said the complaint about bribe-taking in the appointment of teachers to educational institutions under the Devaswom board would be probed and action taken. The report of inquiry into the light that had appeared near Ponnambalamedu on the eve of the Makaravilakku festival was yet to be received.