SABARIMALA: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the Government would implement projects worth Rs 40 crore during 2016-2017 financial year for improving the basic facilities for pilgrims.
Inaugurating the Pampa Sangamam-2016, organised by the Travancore Devaswom Board at Pampa Ramamoorthy Mandapam on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said the Government was committed to provide improved facilities for the pilgrims.
The Government implemented projects worth Rs 65 crore for setting up the Sannidhanam sewage treatment plant, queue complexes, hospitals, schemes for police personnel at Sannidhanam and Pampa and improvement of facilities for the pilgrims at Nilackal pilgrim transit camp, during the 2015-2016 year, Oommen Chandy said.
The Chief Minister sought the cooperation of the governments of southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra and Telangana for the implementation of major projects.As part of the initiative, five acres of land at Nilackal pilgrim transit camp would be given to the southern states under permissive use like setting up dormitories, resting places and other basic facilities for the pilgrims belonging to southern states, he said.
The Chief Minister said the southern states agreed to reciprocate by providing land at pilgrim centres like Palani, Kollur and Tirupathi to the Travancore Devaswom Board for setting up basic facilities for the devotees who go there for offering worship.
Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan handed over a cheque worth Rs 30 lakh collected by the TDB among employees, one month allowance of the TDB members and Rs 10 lakh from devaswom funds to Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Panneerselvam at the function towards assistance for flood relief operations.
Delivering the presidential address, Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar announced the annual Harivarasanam award to playback singer M G Sreekumar. The minister said that the award would be presented to Sreekmar on the Makaravilakku day on January 15. Prayar Gopalakrishnan welcomed the gathering. Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala delivered the key-note address.Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P J Kurian was the chief guest. Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu Endowment Minister R Kamaraj spoke on the occasion.