Sabarimala: Kumily gears up to receive pilgrims
By P B Jayasankar | ENS | Published: 13th November 2012 08:49 AM |
Unlike last year, Kumily, the gateway to the traditional and non-traditional routes to Sabarimala, will start receiving nearly 25 lakh pilgrims from Thursday.
Owing to the tension developed in the border districts after the dispute over the Mullapperiyar issue, the traffic in this high range town was negligible in the last season.
Kumily panchayat president Velayappan Ponraj said special arrangements were made for giving clearance to the vehicles which will pass through the inter-state check post.
“This was decided at a meeting held with the check post authorities, police and other departments to review the preparations,” he said and added that arrangements were made for around 300 pilgrims to take rest at the KSRTC bus stand. “Adequate water and comfort stations will be provided nearby.
The pilgrims can take rest here before heading to the shrine through different routes,” he said.
The traditional route through Kumily- Vandiperiyar-Satram-Pulmedu-Sannidhanam is only 41 km.
The other two routes are longer. Out of which one is through Kumily-Koruthodu-Pambavalley-Pampa and is 110 km. The other Kumily-Kuttikanam-Mundakayam-Erumeli-Pampa is 150 km.
Though the traditional route is much shorter, it is arduous. The pilgrims would be allowed to take light motor vehicles to reach Satram as the road is narrow and dangerous. As the Vallakadavu-Pulmedu route has been closed after the January 2011 tragedy, most of the pilgrims are opting the route via Satram.
According to Kattapana DySP K M Jijimon, the number of pilgrims who prefer this routehas gone down. Folowing this, there is enough room to park vehicles.
Still the police have decided not to allow all kinds of vehicles as the road is very narrow and dangerous.
From Satram, the pilgrims have to walk about 12km to reach Sannidhanam. The route is not recommended to the elderly and sick, mainly those who are having heart ailments.
Once inside the forest, disaster management becomes less effective. No medical team or rescue mission can reach there on time. Jijimon advised the pilgrims to essentially carry individual identity cards, not to wear gold ornaments, carry minimum money, alert police on suspicious things, avoid carrying plastic articles, avoid bringing LPG cylinders for cooking purposes.
He said 300 police personnel have been deployed on duty in the Kattapana division.
“The police department will coordinate operations with health, forest, fire and rescue department,” he said. Medical camps will be operated at Satram, Pulmedu and Peruvanthanam.
According to DMO P J Aloysius, the pilgrims should consult doctors before using the traditional route which is harsh. Even those with normal health should take rest at regular intervals while trekking the hills, he said.