Special Correspondent

Differences of opinion will be sorted out through discussions, says chief

Board reviews arrangements for Makaravilakku

Appointments to be made after festival

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The differences of opinion among the members and the president of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) have been sorted out and the Board would function in a united manner, said TDB president C.K. Guptan.

Briefing reporters after a marathon meeting of the Board here on Thursday, Mr. Guptan, in the presence of members K. Narayanan and P.K. Sumathykutty Amma, said the differences of opinion among them would be sorted out through discussions. “We will identify areas where we can work together. We are not for a confrontation,” Mr. Guptan said.

The Kerala High Court had directed the Board to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss the arrangements for the Makaravilakku festival at Sabarimala and also other important issues pertaining to the routine functions of the Board. Appointments to the posts of the Board secretary, Thiruvabharanam commissioner and other posts will be made after the festival. As per the suggestions of the Justice Paripoornan Commission, seniority and experience alone will not be the criteria for promoting Board officers to such posts. Their output and performance too will be evaluated by the board. This will be made applicable for other posts too. Senior officers have been deputed for the smooth conduct of the ‘Thiruvabharanam procession.’ Restrictions on the sale of ‘aravana’ will be relaxed and each pilgrim will be given six to eight cans of ‘aravana.’ If needed, it could be increased up to 10 cans, he said.

The Board has decided to probe the alleged irregularities in the store where materials are stocked for preparing ‘appam’ in Sabarimala. Exhaustive arrangements have been made for providing all facilities to the pilgrims. The Board had reviewed the situation well before the pilgrim season began. However, the heavy rush of pilgrims had led to certain lapses.