The High Power Committee for implementation of the Sabarimala Master Plan has completed formalities for beginning the work on various projects worth a total cost of Rs 8 crore in an effort improve the basic pilgrim facility at Sabarimala before the beginning of the ensuing annual pilgrim season in mid-November.
Talking to The Hindu, Jolly Ullas, Travancore Devaswom Board Chief Engineer, said the HPC has finalised the tender for seven self-contained queue complexes to be constructed along the Marakkoottom-Saramkuthi stretch of the trekking path.
According to Mr Ullas, the proposed queue complexes have been planned in two different dimensions (40 X 20 metres and 40 X 10 metres) as per the availability of space for the same.
A total of five complexes in 40 X 20-metre dimension each will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1.56 crore and the remaining two complexes will be constructed in 40 X 10 metre dimension at a total cost of Rs 60 lakhs. He said 60 trees standing on the path would be felled soon and all the seven complexes were expected to be commissioned prior to the beginning of the forthcoming pilgrim season.
Mr Ullas said a 60-member latrine complex estimated at Rs 2 crore would replace the existing dilapidated old latrines at Malikappuram.
The proposed latrine complex will have a cellar and ground floor. The two old latrine complexes located near the devaswom godown adjoining the Ganapati Temple complex at Pampa will be demolished for constructing a two new latrine blocks at an estimated cost of Rs 3.72 crore on a war footing basis.
Sewage treatment plant
Mr Ullas said work on the Rs 22-crore modern sewage treatment plant (STP) at Sabarimala Sannidhanam was fast progressing and the plant would be ready for operation by November.
He said the HPC has also decided to invite expression of interest from contractors for undertaking various other projects prescribed in the master plan.
Garbage disposal with the help of advanced machines and modern technology at Sabarimala, Pampa and Nilackal, capacity augmentation of the STP at Cheriyanavattom from its existing capacity of 3.5 mld to 5 mld, and construction of an new Valiyanadappanthal at the Sannidhanam are the major projects for which the HPC will be inviting expression of interest soon, he said.