‘Sannidhanam has become a concrete jungle’

Unscientific construction activities in the guise of pilgrim amenities have transformed the Sabarimala Sannidhanam into a concrete jungle.

Unabated pollution of the forest environs and contamination of the Pampa river are the two major concerns during the annual Sabarimala pilgrim season. Death of wild fauna, especially elephants, owing to the consumption of plastic waste, has become a common problem in the post-pilgrimage period in Sabarimala forests.

“Traditionally, the renunciation of comfort during pilgrimage has been considered a form of offering to gods. But modern-day religious tourism makes the sacred sites no different from numerous large temples in cities and towns across India,” says V.N. Gopinatha Pillai, environmentalist and Kerala River Protection Council vice president.