In connection with the Makaravilakku festival, control rooms will be opened to assist pilgrims in the state capitals of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and also at Sabarimala Sannidhanam. The decision was taken at a meeting of representatives of the respective states and the state officials held here on Thursday.
The representatives from the neighbouring states extended all support to the Kerala Government for the smooth conduct of the Makaravilakku festival and also for the development activities at Pampa, Sabarimala and Nilakkal.
Inaugurating the meet, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the government was keen to provide maximum facilities to the pilgrims. Stating that the government gave much importance to the development of Sabarimala, Chandy said a master plan had been prepared for the planned development of the pilgrimage centre.
Pointing out that the government had earmarked enough land at Nilakkal to convert it into a base camp, the Chief Minister said that each state had been allotted five acres of land for building their offices and facilitation centres. “Karnataka has taken up the land. We ask the other states to take the opportunity to establish their centres at the base camp,’’ Chandy said. He also said that the government intended to do a lot of things with the cooperation of other states.
Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar said that the government had already allotted Rs 65 crore for the developments initiated under the Sabarimala Master Plan. He said that a parking lot at Nilakkal was being set up to park about 10,000 vehicles. The major hurdles faced by the government was the non-availability of land and sewage issues. The Centre has allowed to transfer 12.67 hectares of land in Pampa and 110 hectares in Sabarimala, he said.
Sivakumar said the tender process was on and the sewage project would be completed by the next season. Devaswom Minister said the Water Authority had come up with a `75-crore proposal for sourcing potable water from Kakkad Dam.