Staff Reporter

Ministers review arrangements for pilgrims

SABARIMALA: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Thursday said that the Government had taken effective steps to provide maximum facilities for pilgrims in Sabarimala. He was talking to mediapersons during his visit to Pampa.

He said that the State would exert pressure on the Centre to declare Sabarimala a national pilgrim centre. The Chief Minister visited the Nilackal base camp, KSRTC bus stand, Chalakkayam Toll Gate, Pampa.Manalpuram and the bathing ghat.

High-level meeting

A high-level meeting on Thursday jointly convened by six Ministers in Pamba to review the arrangements for the Sabarimala pilgrim season saw a verbal tiff between the Travancore Devaswom Board and the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) authorities.

PCB flays TDB

The PCB authorities accused the TDB of violating pollution control norms at Pampa.and the Nilackal base camp.

They alleged that the TDB failed to take effective steps to check the flow of filth into the Pamba.

The toilet complex at the Pamba Manalpuram remained closed on Thursday, causing hardship to pilgrims.

The TDB officials said the sewage treatment plant at Pampa.would be operational on Friday. The PCB alleged that the sewage disposal mechanism at Nilackal was constructed without obtaining the mandatory clearance from the PCB.

Addressing the meeting, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Forest Minister Benoy Viswom stressed the need for a permanent and stable mechanism for Sabarimala.

Devaswom Minister G. Sudhakaran presided over the meeting. Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy, Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas and Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran reviewed the arrangements.