Roy Mathew

Proposes strategy to minimise future disasters

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The draft Master Plan for Sabarimala (Phase II), prepared by IL and FS Ecosmart Limited and submitted to the Government recently, proposes guided development of the Sabarimala complex and surrounding region in a complimentary and eco-friendly manner "so as to provide a satisfying pilgrimage experience."

It also proposes a disaster management strategy to minimise future disasters and their impacts.

Titled Perspective 2050, the Plan lays down a `road map' for interventions during an immediate phase lasting till 2015 and a long-term phase till 2050.

Proposals include setting up of base and transit camps, improved transportation facilities including ropeways, improvement of the existing roads, construction of new roads, augmentation of water supply and sanitation facilities and integration of projects identified under the Pampa Action Plan.

Efficient management of solid wastes, rejuvenation of impaired environment and better infrastructure for health care, communications and fire fighting are among the other proposals.

The Plan, presented in five modules, proposes community participation in all disaster preparedness activities and coordinated response and recovery plans. The lost pristine landscape of the temple environ, trek routes and base camps are proposed to be reintroduced. Erumely, Vandiperiyar and Nilackal have been identified as base camps. An institutional set-up is proposed to ensure eco-friendly provision of services at the pilgrim centre.

The Working Committee for Sabarimala Development, headed by Principal Secretary E. K. Bharat Bhushan, on Monday discussed the draft. Travancore Devaswom Board president G. Raman Nair attended the meeting, among others. The Board has put up additional proposals for inclusion in the Plan.