The first phase of the proposed retiring centre would be constructed at a cost of Rs.50 lakh

The State government as well as the organisations of devotees are bound to ensure every basic infrastructure facility to scores of pilgrims coming to Sabarimala from different parts of the country, Raju Abraham, MLA, has said.

Mr. Abraham was inaugurating the work on a retiring centre for Sabarimala pilgrims planned at Vadasserikkara on Saturday.

The first phase of the proposed retiring centre would be constructed at a cost of Rs.50 lakh allotted from the MLA’s Asset Development Fund, Mr. Abraham said.

Time-bound manner

He said pilgrims coming to Sabarimala from far off places should be treated with hospitality and the government should take the necessary initiative to complete various pilgrim amenity projects at Sabarimala, Pampa, and Nilackal as part of the Sabarimala Master Plan in a time-bound fashion.

Presiding over the function, V.K. Rajagopal, Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom (ABASS) State vice president, said the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the State government should provide necessary support to devotees’ organisations such as the Sanghom in their efforts to extend every possible help to hundreds of pilgrims coming to Sabarimala.

According to Mr Rajagopal, ABASS was an organisation that came into being much before the formation of the Travancore Devaswom Board.

The volunteers of ABASS used to escort the priests and devotees to the Sabarimala Sannidhanam (the holy hillock) through the dense forests heavily infested with wild beasts in the olden days.

Even now, the Sanghom was the only organisation that served free food and retiring facility to weary pilgrims at Karimala in the dense forests on the traditional path leading to Sabarimala from Erumely, Mr Rajagopal said.

He said the ABASS had opened as many as 50 pilgrim centres across the State during the two-month-long annual Mandalam -Makaravilakku pilgrim season.

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