Proposed Sabarimala Guest House: Forest Department toughens stand

Close on the heels of allegations ‘Punyadarshanam,’ the proposed VVIP Guest House at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, is in violation of the master plan, the Forest Department has sought to know whether the p

Published: 29th October 2017 03:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2017 09:08 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Close on the heels of allegations ‘Punyadarshanam,’ the proposed VVIP Guest House at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, is in violation of the master plan, the Forest Department has sought to know whether the proposed project comes under the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR). Two weeks ago, when the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the project, ‘Express’ had reported allegations about the master plan violation.

The Forest Department has made it categorically clear encroachments into PTR will not be entertained. In a communication to Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Forest Minister K Raju raised certain issues in connection with some of the proposed constructions at Sabarimala.

The Forest Department had said the proposed tractor path through forest land cannot be allowed as an alternative route as it encroaches upon forest land. A couple of other issues related to temporary parking and earmarked area for sale of coconuts have also been raised.

“The Forest Department is determined to prevent any encroachment into the PTR. We will not allow any such moves. The possible master plan violation has already been brought to the Chief Minister’s attention. We have asked the Devaswom to rework the proposal for tractor path as there’s sufficient land available,” K Raju told ‘Express’.

Even as the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the VVIP Guest House at Sannidhanam, there were allegations the construction was in major violation of Sabarimala master plan and many court orders. Following reports of allegations, Pinarayi said construction should be as per the master plan. He also asked to avoid concrete constructions at Sabarimala.

Last year the Travancore Devaswom Board had handed over 20 cents to the Tourism Department to construct a guest house at Sannidhanam to accommodate VIPs and VVIPs coming to the temple.

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