PAMPA: For anyone who has been to Pampa before the floods, the sights here now are devastating. There is nothing but sand dunes 6 to 8 feet high and debris of collapsed buildings scattered all around.
A month has gone by after the gushing waters of the Pampa ravaged the entire area serving as the base camp of Sabarimala. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has no other priority but to make Pampa accessible for pilgrims set to arrive for the monthly pooja on September 17.
A team of engineers from Tata Projects Ltd is working round the clock to remove the debris and shift the large sand deposits to make Pampa approachable for pilgrims. The most tedious task at hand for TDB is restoring power and potable water supply.
It required a week’s effort to recover the Triveni bridge from the debris and sand. Work is also on to prepare a path from Triveni to Ganapathi temple situated on the foothills of the trekking path.
“We are not thinking about anything else but to make Pampa at least approachable for the pilgrims who will be arriving for the monthly darshan. All basic amenities, right from potable water to toilets have to be set up. The damage is huge. We need to begin from scratch,” said TDB (PWD) assistant engineer K Hareesh Kumar.
Currently, the sand deposits are being shifted to various parking lots in Pampa.“We need to clean the entire area and sanitise it. All buildings on the river bank have been rendered useless,” said another TDB officer.
In fact, the TDB officers are clueless on any plan as clearing the debris will take at least 50-60 days. “We have been asked to clear the debris first and we are on the job,” said an officer with Tata Projects.
A team from the National Health Mission (NHM) is camping in Pampa to restart the functioning of the government hospital’s Emergency Medical Centre.
“It will take at least 40 days to make the building fit to restart the hospital,” said NHM consultant Venugopal V Nair.
“We have suffered a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. Seven to eight feet high sand is still inside the hospital building. We have decided to entrust the engineering wing of BSNL with the task of clearing the debris and to make the building fit for functioning.”