Problems galore as Ayyappa temple opens today
The flood-ravaged Pampa Manalpuram in the foothills of Sabarimala is literally left with little basic amenities as the Ayyappa temple opens for the Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival on Friday afternoon.
A huge pilgrim shelter and roofed pathway on the river banks have been washed way in the flood. The TDB is yet to restore the bathing ghats at Pampa-Triveni.
Three toilet blocks, the Annadana Mandapam, and the hotel buildings at Pampa Manalpuram too have been badly damaged.
The TDB is yet to make arrangements for Annadanam (feeding of pilgrims) at Pampa.
The sewage treatment at Pampa too has been badly hit and the repair work on the damaged sewage treatment plant is yet to be completed.
The TDB could not auction off the right to run eateries at Sabarimala and Pampa as there were very few takers for the same this time.
Though the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) declared Nilackal as the main base camp, the board is yet to arrange adequate facilities there.
Many board officials are of the view that acute water scarcity would be a major problem at Nilackal.
Even the make-shift shelters set up for the police personnel on duty at Nilackal are said to be inadequate and unscientific.
District Police Chief T. Narayanan, who is also the Special Liaison Officer at Sabarimala, told that sufficient police deployment had been made at Pampa and Nilackal to avert chances of any unpleasant situation there against the backdrop of the reported move by certain Hindu organisations to prevent women devotees in the restricted age group from entering the temple.