Sabarimala verdict: Paving the way for new pilgrims

Kerala govt. will have to scale up security and provide more facilities

September 28, 2018 05:27 pm | Updated 09:53 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

During the festival season, about 25,000-50,000 people visit Sabarimala daily.

During the festival season, about 25,000-50,000 people visit Sabarimala daily.

Crowd management and scaling up of security infrastructure in Sabarimala and its precincts to host thousands of women pilgrims following the Supreme Court verdict will throw new challenges for the Kerala government and the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Board Commissioner N. Vasu told The Hindu here on Friday that all decisions and preparations hinged on the time frame set for implementing the verdict. “If it takes immediate effect, the board will provide optimum facilities, mainly toilets for women, at Pampa and Sabarimala and its surroundings,” Mr. Vasu said.

On getting more time, the board would be able to provide better facilities, mainly toilets and retreat rooms. During the festival season, 25,000 to 50,000 people converge at Sabarimala every day.

In addition to the guest house and dormitories, the Sannidhanam has fewer than 100 rooms. But the Sabarimala Master Plan does not advocate creation of more accommodation facilities, mainly concrete structures at the Sannidhanam.

Challenges are too many, especially during the Makaravilakku season. Security needs to be bolstered on the trekking path between Pampa and Sabarimala and queues regulated.

Board sources told The Hindu that pilgrims had to wait in queues for long hours for darshan . More forces, including policewomen, would have to be posted for security and sufficient rooms need to be provided for women waiting for darshan .

Exclusive queues

The Board would have to form exclusive queues for women and make special arrangements for making the darshan easy for them. This calls for the government providing more land from the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Pressure on space is one issue that has been vexing the Board and the government for long. Repeated requests from the government and the Board to provide land to set up infrastructure have proved futile.

Now, the government would have to furnish fresh requests seeking more land from the tiger reserve and sanction funds for improving facilities. All these need to be delivered within a specific time frame and that would be a tall challenge, sources said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.