Automated aravana plant at Sabarimala a non-starter

April 12, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 03:52 am IST - Pathanamthitta

HC had ordered augmentation of production facilities

The Kerala High Court in its order on March 13 has reiterated that the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) should take necessary steps to enure the quality of the aravana and appam, which have been the most sought-after prasadom at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, with out any further delay.

The Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justices Thottathil B.Radhakrishnan and Anu Sivaraman stated that the TDB should take steps for “upgrading and augmenting the qualitative, quantitative and timely production of Appam and Aravana.”

The Division Bench suggested that “it would be appropriate for the board to consider obtaining a project report regarding the design and technology for modernisation and automation of plants for production of appam and aravana by the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore.”

The HC orders were on the basis of a detailed report on the Sabarimala pilgrim season submitted by the Special Commissioner appointed by the Court¸ M.Manoj.

Commissioner’s report

In his report, the Special Commissioner had mentioned the sorry state of affairs with the existing appam and aravana plants at Sabarimala.

Mr. Manoj, who is also a District Judge, stated that the High Court directions with regard to the appam-aravana manufacturing plants, food safety, sewage treatment, drinking water supply, should be strictly complied with.

The Food Safety Department had found the rice flour used for Appam preparation at Sabarimala not fit for human consumption and its production was stopped for a a day during the Makaravilakku festival in January.

The Food Safety Department inspection team also found violation of the Court order directing the TDB not to reuse articles brought by the pilgrims in their irumudikkettu.

The TDB has been using the rice brought by devotees in their irumudikkettu for appam preparation all these years.

The TDB decision of 2015 to fully mechanise the appam preparation and packing still remains a non-starter, despite the successful installation of a fully automated demonstration unit at the appam plant by a Bangalore-based company in June, 2016.

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