Travancore Devaswom Board is to install an innovative close circuit television network with giant LED video screens at vantage points at Sannidhanam, Pampa and on the Pampa-Sannidhanam trekking path with a view to ensure a pilgrim-friendly crowd management during the forthcoming Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival that begins on November 16.

Additional Chief Secretary, K. Jayakumar who is also the TDB Chief Commissioner and Devaswom Commissioner, P.V. Nalinakshan Nair, told The Hindu that the board was planning to introduce the system through sponsorship.

An engineering expert attached to TDB said the idea is to effectively utilise the state of the art technology of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) for scientific pilgrim management at Sabarimala.

The proposal is to install a 400 sq ft (20 ft X 20 ft) screen at Pampa, Sabaripeetom, Marakkoottom and Saramkuthy where devotees used to wait for hours together during the rush days of the pilgrim season.

There were instances of pilgrims getting weary of their long wait in the long-winding barricades along the Sabaripeetom-Saramkuthy stretch of the trekking path leading to stampede-like situations on several occasions during the annual festival season. The TDB proposal is to introduce the wireless telecast of various functions and temple rituals, other than those held inside the sanctum sanctorum, from the Sannidhanam with the help of an earth satellite so that the devotees waiting on the trekking path and in Pampa can watch the events live in a relaxed mood.

Moreover, the project would further establish a live link between Pampa and the Sannidhanam. The proposal was initially mooted by the police at a meeting of the High Power Committee on Sabarimala chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary as an effective crowd management plan during the annual pilgrim season, official sources said.

They said the board has already invited expression of interest from interested parties so that the project could be implemented before November 10.

TDB as well as various government departments have launched hectic preparations for the smooth conduct of the pilgrim season so that all work should be completed by November 10, said Mr Jayakumar.

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