TDB to make Lord Ayyappa temple a national pilgrim centre

Sunday, Oct 19, 2014,22:21 IST By metrovaartha A A A

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) was entrusted to form an expert committee to come up with a project report on making Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple a national pilgrim centre. A decision in this regard was taken at a highlevel meeting chaired by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the Minister for Devaswom V S Sivakumar, a press release said.
The decision came close to the heels of Kerala submitting the memorandum to the Union Government yesterday to elevate Sabarimala into a national pilgrim centre. The intention is to make Sabarimala on the lines of pilgrim centres like Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Vaishnodevi in Jammu. A detailed report will be submitted to the Prime Minister after the visits and observations of the expert committee to these pilgrim centres.
Kerala will demand release of more forest lands as part of the project. Officials concerned were given instructions to meet the deadline of November 1 for completing the works as part of Mandalam and Makaravilakku festive season at Sabarimala. A review meeting in this regard will be held at Pamba on November 11 at 1400 hrs, which will be attended by the chief minister, ministers concerned, people’s representatives and senior officials.
Roads to Sabarimala are being renovated at an expense of Rs 57 crores. The works pertaining to this and that of the national highway will be completed in a timebound manner. Kannamala Bridge will be opened for traffic before December 15. A fullfledged medical centre with services of Allopathy, Homoeopathy and Ayurveda will be opened at Pamba on November 11 by the chief minister. District collectors have been asked to coordinate the works of various departments. More oxygen parlours will be opened on the Swamy Ayappan road with defibrillator for cardiac treatment equipped at 15 parlours.
All required facilities will be put in place at hospitals connected with the pilgrim season; ambulance service will be enhanced and mobile dispensaries will be put into service and Karunya pharmacies will come up at Pamba and at the Sanidhanam. Prices will be monitored at Pamba and adjoining places. Signboard in six regional languages will be placed at bathing ghats and at 70 odd accident prone areas.
KSRTC will ensure sufficient service during the Sabarimala pilgrim season; more than 100 buses will be deployed for NilackalPamba chain service; availability of drinking water, electricity will be ensured on the Swamy Ayyappan road, other forest tracks, at Pamba, Nilackal, Sannidhanam and at Erumeli.
District Collectors have been instructed to implement the Justice Harihara Verma Commission report. Enough lighting will be provided at Pulmedu, Paruthipara, Panchalimedu, Vandiperiyar and other places with Asca lights. Nightvision infrared camera’s will be installed at places that require them. The meeting also decided to sanction Rs 5 lakhs each to the district collectors and police chiefs of Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kottayam districts for meeting expenses during emergency situations.