KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Legal Metrology Department to ensure that excess price for steel, aluminium and brass vessels is not exacted from pilgrims at Sabarimala. A Division Bench comprising Justice T R Ramchandran Nair and Justice P V Asha passed the order while considering the reports of Special Commissioner stating that exorbitant prices are being charged for vessels at Sannidhanam and Pampa. The Legal Metrology Department also submitted that the vendors are charging three times more than the market price prevailing at Pathanamthitta.
According to the inspectors, there can only be 20 per cent increase in the price of vessels. The reports also highlighted that strict measures have been taken to control the prices charged by the vendors for vessels. Otherwise it will lead to exploitation of pilgrims.
The government pleader submitted that the meeting convened by the District Collector has fixed a price for vessels. The price for steel vessels (medium quality) is Rs 346.5 per kg at Pampa while it is Rs 385 at Sannidhanam. Aluminium vessel costs Rs 342 at Pampa and Rs 380 at Sannidhanam while the price of brass vessels is Rs 733.5 and Rs 815 at Pampa and Sabarimala, respectively.
It also submitted that orders were issued to monitor the matter and to see that the vendors charge only the prices fixed at the meeting convened by the Collector. The court held there should be absolute insistence on the matters to avoid exploitation of devotees. The vendors should be asked to exhibit the price fixed by Collector.