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Sabarimala may become a national pilgrim centre

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) that governs the affairs of Sabarimala has been entrusted to form an expert committee to come up with a detailed project report for transforming Sabarimala into a national pilgrimage.

A decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting, chaired by chief minister Oommen Chandy.

The decision came close on the heels of Kerala submitting a memorandum to the Union government to elevate the status of Sabarimala.

In a recent meeting with the Prime Minister, Chandy had urged Modi to take steps to declare Sabarimala as 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 would be submitted to the Prime Minister after field visits and observations of the expert committee tasked for the purpose.

Kerala would demand for the release of more forest land as part of the project.The meeting also decided to meet the deadline of November 1 for completing the works as part of this year’s Mandalam and Makaravilakku festive season at Sabarimala.

A review meeting in this regard will be held at Pamba on November 11, which will be attended by the chief minister.

Roads to Sabarimala are being renovated at an estimated Rs 57 crore. A full-fledged medical centre with services of allopathy, homeopathy and ayurveda would be opened at Pamba on November 11 by the chief minister. More oxygen parlours would be opened on the Swamy Ayappan road with defibrillator for cardiac treatment equipped at 15 parlours.

All required facilities would be put in place at hospitals connected with the pilgrim season; ambulance service will be enhanced and mobile dispensaries would be in service and Karunya pharmacies will come up at Pamba and at the Sanidhanam.

Sign boards in six regional languages would be displayed at bathing ghats and at 70 accident-prone areas.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would deploy more than 100 buses for Nilackal-Pamba chain service. The meeting also decided to sanction Rs 5 lakh each to the district collectors and police chiefs of Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kottayam districts for meeting expenses during the emergency situations.

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