Kerala

Neelimala route likely to be opened for Sabarimala pilgrims

As the pilgrim footfall at Sabarimala witnesses a gradual surge, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has come up with a plan to open the Neelimala-Marakkoottam route to devotees.

With the COVID-19 restrictions in place, devotees are currently permitted to trek the hillock only through the Swami Ayyappan Road. Buoyed by the rising footfall, which has already crossed 75,000, the TDB has approached the State Government with a request to lift the regulations in place for using the Neelimala route.

Confirming the development, TDB president K. Ananthagopan said preparations for opening the route were on and the steps would be expedited upon receiving the Government approval. A final decision is expected during a meeting to be convened by Devaswom Minister K. Radhakrishnan in a few days.

“The proposal on opening the route, which passes via Appachimedu, Saramkuthi and Sabaripeedam, is being forwarded in consideration of its ritualistic significance. Restoration of handrails and hospital buildings along the route are complete. The route can be opened once the health facilities are in place,” he said.

Fire-safety audit

Prior to opening the route, the Fire and Rescue Services has been directed to carry out a fire-safety audit.

Meanwhile, as many as 287 Vishudhi Sena members have been deployed at Nilackal, Pampa and Sannidhanam to keep the pilgrimage zone free from garbage. As many as 575 toilets too have been set up across the zone, besides facilities for shower bath.

A review meeting convened by Sabarimala Additional District Magistrate Arjun Pandian the other day also decided to arrange for drinking water for pilgrims waiting at the Valiya Nadapandal. The Department of Health has been entrusted with providing CPR training to selected persons from all departments, besides the Akhila Bharata Ayyappa Seva Sangham.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 12:24:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/neelimala-route-likely-to-be-opened-for-sabarimala-pilgrims/article37647248.ece

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