TDB to be reconstituted before pilgrim season

Tenure of president, member expires on Friday

The State government is likely to reconstitute the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) before the commencement of the Mandalam and Makaravilakku festivals in Sabarimala.

Board sources told The Hindu here that the United Democratic Front (UDF) leadership had already shortlisted two representatives of the Congress to substitute outgoing president M.P. Govindan Nair and member Subash Vasu whose three-year tenure would expire on Friday. The third member, P.K. Kumaran, who was elected by the Hindu MLAs, has three more months. But the new members are likely to be nominated soon to avert an administrative impasse during the festival season.

As per the 2012 Amendment to the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions (TCHRI) Act, which governs the board, the government reserves the powers to nominate two members in the event of an exigency. Since the Mandalam festival is set to commence on November 17, the government could not afford to defer the reconstitution of the board any further. The third member would be inducted only after the next Assembly elections due in May 2016.

The Congress leadership is understood to have identified three senior Congress leaders to head the board. The government and the political leadership have taken the Nair Service Society (NSS) into confidence about the reconstitution and also the new members to be inducted into the board. Final round of consultations are reportedly progressing and the government is likely to name the new president and one member by November 15 itself, sources said.

Important period

Being one of the most significant festival in which pilgrims reach the State from the across the country and also abroad, the onus is on the government to ensure that it is managed in a flawless manner. Leaving the board headless during the festivéal season would be a gamble for the government. For, the board members would have to take many crucial policy decisions during the next two months on a variety of issues ranging from preparation of the prasadams, appam and aravana to crowd management and also providing basic amenities to the scores of pilgrims who reach Sabarimala.

UDF has shortlisted two Congress representatives

State can nominate members in the event of exigencies

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 9:23:04 PM |

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