Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Forest Department will arrange various facilities for Sabarimala pilgrims, clearing forests in the Ranni division and the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Kerala Forest Minister Benoy Viswom said here on Tuesday the grasslands at Uppupara would be cleared through controlled burning to provide space for pilgrims to view the ‘Makara Jyothi’ and prevent fire.

He said permission would be given for clearing the undergrowth at Pampa for parking purposes. Specific areas had been earmarked for shops which were to be auctioned.

The path from Attathodu to Cheriyanavattom in the Ranni division and Cheriyanavattom to Apachimedu in the tiger reserve would be cleared and a causeway constructed for crossing the river. Traditional passages from Azhuthakadavu to Pampa, Nalam Mile to the Sannidhanam and Sathram to Uppupara would be readied for pilgrims.

The Minister said maintenance of cardiology centres at Appachimedu and Neelimala had been completed. Establishment of an oxygen parlour would be permitted from Pampa to the Sannidhanam. Steps would be taken to remove plastics from the area.

Mr. Viswom recalled that the department had cleared four crore plastic bottles from the pilgrimage area last year.