The works department attached to Travancore Devaswom Board has proposed shifting of the copra drying yard close by the Valiyanadappanthal and Sabari Guest House at Sabarimala Sannidhanam to Paandithavalom with a view to improve the basic pilgrim facilities at the holy hillock.

Talking to The Hindu here on Saturday, Mr Jolly Ullas, Executvie Officer at the Sannidhanam, said the proposed shifting of copra yard would provide a vast expanse of open space close by the

Valiyanadapanthal.

The proposal is to construct eco-friendly pilgrim shelters at this open space. The TDB would construct a 800-metre pathway from the KSEB office near Valiyanadapanthal to Paandithavalom for transportation of broken coconuts and copra. The project is estimated at Rs 1 core, he added.

Mr Ullas said TDB would spent another Rs 1 crore on remodeling of 10 old pilgrim shelters at the Sannidhanam.

Roofing of barricades

He said TDB would soon launch the roofing work of the at the lower Tirumuttom on the northern side of the Ayyappa Temple where devotees used to wait inside the barricades for hours together during the rush days of the annual pilgrim season.

Mr Ullas said the work on two giant water tanks with a capacity of 20 lakh litres each was fast progressing at the Sannidhanam with a view to complete it before the next Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season.

With the commissioning of the two tanks, the water storage capacity at the Sannidhanam would go up to 136 lakh litres, he said.

He said the project report and rough cost estimate of the proposed Kunnar dam augmentation scheme was under preparation.

Queue complex

Mr Ullas said the Thiruvananthapuram-based Habitat Technology Group with the renowned architect G.Sankar at its helm has almost completed the design of the proposed queue complex as proposed in the Sabarimala Masterplan.

He said TDB works department was hopeful of completing atleast four units of the proposed self-contained queue complex well before November itself, if it was provided with the final design in the next two weeks.

Mr Ullas said the proposed queue complex would be constructed between Markkoottom and Saramkuthy.

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