THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first phase of the renovation of the Padmatheertham pond of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple began here on Thursday. Health and Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar inaugurated the works at a function held on the temple premises.
Officials said works to the tune of Rs 1.64 crore will be executed in the first phase. Of this, Rs 25 lakh has already been spent for removing sludge from the pond. The Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra (KSNK) is the implementing agency.
The first phase works include renovation of the bathing ghats for men and women devotees. Each ghat will have the facility for 100 persons to take the holy dip at a time.
The ghats will have a slightly raised platform with granite flooring for pilgrim safety. It will have steel fencing on three sides to prevent devotees slipping to depths.
The existing cloak room will be renovated to cater to more number of pilgrims. There will be provision for keeping small baggage, besides clothes, in safe custody.
The first phase also includes the construction of a 50 m long queue complex starting near the Methan Mani and extending up to the stone pavements leading to the temple. The complex in the traditional Kerala style of architecture will be on the side of the pond and will have granite flooring and tiled roofing.
The first phase works will be completed before May 31, 2016.
The second phase of the works include renovation of all the stone ‘mandapas’ and the pavements in the pond. A landscaped pathway will be built on three sides of the pond with seating facility.
The inaugural function was attended by District Judge and chairperson of the temple administrative committee chairperson V Shircy, committee member and District Collector Biju Prabhakar, committee member S Vijayakumar, temple ‘thantri’ Tharanaloor Saji Namboothirippad, chief priest Upparnam Narasimhan Kumar and temple executive officer K N Satheesh.
The technical committee that monitors the works includes the District Collector, KSNK project manager R Sanilkumar, KWA executive engineer K K Madhu and VSSC scientist Sabu.