Sabarimala development work to begin soon

Special Correspondent

Master plan to be implemented in three phases

Major works to be over by November

Devaswom Ministers of southern States to meet in March

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Devaswom Minister G. Sudhakaran has said the Sabarimala master plan will be implemented in three phases in a time-bound manner.

Briefing reporters about a review meeting held here on Wednesday, Mr. Sudhakaran said a three-member panel comprising Additional Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, Travancore Devaswom Board commissioner and chief engineer would prioritise the works to be taken up in five years and submit a report within a week. The works, estimated to cost Rs. 200 crore, comprising a prasadam complex, queue complex, ropeway, cardiology centre, latrines and sewerage treatment plant would be taken up soon. The ropeway would be constructed on build-own-operate-and-transfer basis.

The Devaswom board would explore the possibility of implementing the projects through sponsorship and public donations. An implementing agency too would be selected for completing the works in a complementary manner. All major works were expected to be completed before November. Certain works related to the Pamba Action Plan had already been executed and that had helped prevent pollution of the Pamba river during the last Sabarimala festival season. The priority was to provide drinking water and resting facilities to the pilgrims.

Preparatory sessions

Preparatory sessions for the next festival would begin in March. A meeting of the Devaswom Ministers of South Indian States would be held here in the first week of March. The board would meet on January 30 to discuss the arrangements for the next festival season.

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