Arrangements for Sabarimala pilgrimage to be completed in timebound manner
We have limited the number of people to the shrine to 25,000 per day. Over 10 lakh devotees have already registered for the pilgrimage this time, says Devaswom Minister
Pathanamthitta: The arrangements for the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage would be completed in a timebound manner, Kerala Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan said on Saturday. The Minister was addressing the media after a high-level evaluation meet held at Pampa near here to take stock of the arrangements in the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Idukki.
He directed the various government departments to prepare a joint action plan and submit it to the government before the annual pilgrimage season. "The arrangements will be completed in a timebound manner. The pilgrimage is allowed through virtual queue this year also due to the pandemic. We have limited the number of people to the shrine to 25,000 per day. Over 10 lakh devotees have already registered for the pilgrimage this time," he said.
He said 470 KSRTC buses would ply for pilgrims this year, out of which 140 buses would conduct chain service between Nilackal and Pampa base camps. "The health department will set up COVID-19 testing centre at Nilackal and hospitals will start functioning at Pampa, Sannidhanam and Nilackal. There will be five emergency medical centres too," he said. Meanwhile, the Health Department submitted the action plan ahead of the Sabarimala pilgrimage. Health Minister Veena George said the action plan was prepared keeping in mind the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.
As per the action plan submitted by the Health Ministry, all pilgrims and staff should carry the certificate for both the doses and the RT-PCR certificate taken before 72 hours.
"Emergency medical centres, and oxygen parlours have been set up at five places along the Pampa- Sannidhanam route. These medical centres will have facilities for first-aid, monitor blood pressure and automated external defibrillator for those who face the risk of heart attack," the Health Department said in a press release. This year's annual pilgrimage season would begin on November 16.
After the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, the government had imposed strict restrictions for pilgrims to trek the holy Sabarimala and offer worship there.
The number of pilgrims permitted for darshan had also been regulated at the hill temple last year during the season, which otherwise used to witness lakhs of devotees, including those from various parts of the country and abroad, flocking to offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity.