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All roads leading to Sabarimala in terrible condition; Repair works delayed

By Newsd
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All roads leading to Sabarimala in terrible condition; Repair works delayed

Pathanamthitta: Annual ‘Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam’ in Sabarimala temple is a fortnight away, and the devotees coming to attend the event will have a walk on the road that remains in bad conditions and needs immediate repairing.

The Mahotsavam which is scheduled to start from November 16 to December 27, is attended by thousands of devotees every year during this Sabarimala pilgrimage season.


‘Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam’ in Sabarimala
‘Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam’ in Sabarimala

Sabarimala temple is in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala. The district collector has announced that Section 144 will be effective in Shanidham and Nilakkal and Pamba areas. The curfew will be imposed from the night of November 3 till the night of November 6. The gate of the temple is set to open again on November 5.

There are 17 prime roads leading to the temple’s pilgrim area from all sides, the list is approved by the High Court. Except two all remaining roads are in Pathanamthitta district.

A budget of 57 crores is allocated to do the repair work mainly filling of potholes but no full-fledged work is started yet anywhere in the stretch.

Many places even the potholes are not covered. The Public Work Department (PWD) who is responsible for the maintenance of these roads are yet to allocate these to contractors who have bided for the same.

Mannarakulanji-Chalakkayam road is the main road that leads to Sabarimala and is in the worst condition. This road was destroyed during the recent flood that affected the entire state and remains in a precarious condition. Currently, it is filled with multiple potholes and the immediate repairing is beyond sight. The contractor who has started the repair work on the road from VAdasserikkara to Madaman own their own is stopped for now.

Cherukolpuzha-Ranni road which witnesses the annual procession of ‘Thiruvabharam’, where the sacred ornaments of Lord Ayappa are being carried in a procession has not seen any development in the last three years as per reports.

The nine kilometers stretch is an important road en-route to the main temple has witnessed the locals protest over the development several times but the elected representative of the area Raju Abraham has said that a detailed report in this matter is submitted to the government and assured that the repair work will start at the earliest, as per reports.

Other major roads leading to the temple

Athikkayam Bridge-Poovathumoddu road- a major part of this road is beyond motorable, the plan to develop it which is approved by the authority is unlikely to be completed before the pilgrimage season ahead.

Punalur-Muvattupuzha road also remain damaged and Kerala State Transport Project carried out the repair work which included covering only of potholes has been carried out but several places are yet to receive the potholes coverings. The devotees coming from other states through Chenkotta and Punalur take this route to reach Sabarimala. Repair work is done at a very slow pace and many places are yet to see the starting of repair work in the area.

Punalur-Muvattupuzha road

Chethomkara-Athikkayak road where the contract has been signed to develop it as per global standards, works have started partially and needs to be completed before the festival time.

Adoor-Pathanapuram road is yet to receive permission from the PWD for laying out the water pipeline. The development work is yet to start at many places on this road. Again the repair work is done on a very few locations and largely this road remains damaged.

Ezhamkulam-Kaipattoor road only exists on the map, the flood has destroyed this road and only the remains are visible which reminds us of the road formerly existing. The whole area between this stretch was destroyed due to flood and the work has started for the development with the budget of 20 crore. Devotees take this route from Plappilly to Angamoozhy stopover.

Other roads leading to Sabarimala also remains shambles and the repair work are being done just to cover and filling the potholes.

The arrangements for the pilgrimage have taken a back seat and the government is putting its effort to ensure law and order for the upcoming Mandala  Mahotsavam.

The state police department is on the high alert and ready to handle any law and order situation in and around the temple premise. The state government is in no mood to let go the situation out of their hands this time and heavy police force deployment is already ordered.

Apart from the security deployments, a commando team is also ready to tackle any emergency situation.

As per reports, 20 Deputy Superintendents of Police’s, 42 circle inspectors, 78 sub-inspectors, 1,876 civil police officers and 105 women civil police officers will be deployed in Sabarimala temple area.

Sabarimala temple has witnessed violence after the Supreme Court verdict on the entry of women in the temple. On October 17 post SC verdict, women devotees and several Journalists were attacked by violent groups protesting against their entries. Women devotees were attacked at Nilakkal area which is 20 kilometers away from Pamba.

Following the violence, a curfew was imposed in the area of Pamba, Nilakkal, Shanidham, and Elavunkal on October 18 and it continued till Oct 20. Later due to further unrest in the area the curfew was extended to 22nd October and the temple was closed for a month.

Temple entry for women has seen a violent protest over the past months and continued to be among the topmost controversies and has created a massive social and political stir.

Also read:

Hearing on review plea for the recall of Sabarimala verdict on Nov 13

Kerala government creating trouble over Sabarimala: Congress

Sabarimala row: Amit Shah warns of ‘throwing out’ Vijayan government