Steps for smooth conduct of pilgrimage

Staff Reporter
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Work on Rs.5 crore KWA project progressing

A Rs.5 crore project to replace the existing drinking water pipelines of the Kerala Water Authority at Sabarimala is fast progressing and pipes have already been laid along a distance of 2,100 metres, according to P.J. Joseph, Water Resources Minister. Mr. Joseph, along with V.S. Sivakumar, Minister for Devaswom and Health, was talking to reporters here on Saturday after reviewing the arrangements being made by various government departments and the Travancore Devaswom Board for the smooth conduct of the Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage that begins on November 16.

Mr. Joseph said the Water Resources Department had taken measures to ensure supply of quality drinking water to Sabarimala.

The KWA would set up a temporary laboratory at Pampa to carry out periodic quality analysis of the drinking water supplied to Sabarimala and Pampa during the pilgrim season.

He said arrangements would also be made to reach potable water in tanker lorries at Nilackal base camp, if needed, during the pilgrim season.

Earlier, addressing the review meeting, Mr. Sivakumar said the government would ensure strict enforcement of food safety norms at Sabarimala, Pampa, Nilackal and surrounding areas. He said special inspection squads would be deployed for this.

He said the district administration would monitor the price of various food articles and essential commodities.

The Minister said the Health Department had taken special care to appoint adequate number of doctors and paramedical staff at Pathanamthitta General Hospital and other government hospitals in the district so that there would not be any shortage of staff at any of the government healthcare centres in the district, especially during the Sabarimala pilgrim season.

Mr. Sivakumar said the Travancore Devaswom Board would produce 35 lakh tins of Aravana as buffer stock before the beginning of the 41-day Mandalam season on November 16. The stock had crossed 15 lakh tins as on November 2.

He said widening work on the Swami Ayyappan Road had almost been completed and the project to increase the height of Kunnar dam would begin after this pilgrim season.

Raju Abraham, MLA; V.N. Jitehndran, District Collector; Babu George, district panchayat president; N. Vasu, Devaswom Commissioner; C.G. Satchidanandan, Special Secretary to Devaswom Minister; H. Salimraj, Additional District Magistrate, and K. Ravikumar, Devaswom chief engineer, spoke.

District-level officers of various government departments also attended the meeting.



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