Improved footfall boosts TDB kitty

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) is hoping to tide over the pandemic-induced economic crisis, on the back of the improved earnings expected for the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season at Sabarimala.

As per official estimates, the return of packed crowds, especially in the final leg of the Mandalam season, has sent the income soaring to ₹78.92 crore till December 24 . The board expects the overall income to go over ₹80 crore, ten times the figure clocked during the same period last year, considering the revenue generated in the final two days of the 41-day season.

Of the total income received so far, the sale of Appam and Aravana accounted for ₹34.52 crore while the revenue from collection boxes stood around ₹29 crore.

The latest figures, however, stood well below the ₹156 crore reported during the pre-pandemic season.

The overall income from the massively scaled-down Sabarimala pilgrimage last year was ₹21 crore, with the total footfall remaining less than one lakh. The restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 had a drastic impact on the revenue sources with the TDB suffering a loss of over ₹600 crore.

Following this, the board had to approach the government seeking financial assistance to prepare for the pilgrimage season this year.

TDB president K.Ananthagopan said about 10.35 lakh pilgrims had undertaken the pilgrimage so far this season, with the daily number of visitors reaching as high as 43,000. “The tally is expected to go up further when the temple reopens for the Makaravilakku season,” he said.

Official sources said the opening of the traditional forest routes from Erumeli and Vandiperiyar Sathram during the Makaravilakku season was expected to a further increase the pilgrim numbers. They, however, appeared extra cautious with the increase in Omicron cases, the impact of which is yet to be ascertained.

Meanwhile, the TDB is slated to hold a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on January 5 to deliberate on the Sabarimala master plan.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 29, 2022 7:37:01 am |