KOCHI: While the state government remains firm on facilitating the entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala following the apex court order, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has informed the High Court it will require more time to make additional arrangements for the women devotees.
TDB secretary S Jayasree on Tuesday submitted additional infrastructure, such as restrooms, washrooms and others, are needed at Sabarimala, Pampa and Nilakkal to facilitate the entry and ensure the safety of women pilgrims arriving for the pilgrimage.
“For this, TDB will require some time. Though it has undertaken the arrangements to set up such infrastructure at Sabarimala, Pampa and Nilakkal, it could not be done for want of time and in view of
the objection raised by the Central Empowered Committee,” Jayasree submitted.
TDB counsel S Rajmohan informed the High Court it had already filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking more time for complying with the court's September 28 judgment. The TDB's statement came in response to the High Court's query on the infrastructure available on the temple premises and also the facilities TDB intends to put in place for accommodating the young women whose rights were recognised by the Supreme Court.
Pay and use rooms
The TDB submitted there were certain 'pay and use' rooms for pilgrims at Sannidhanam, but they were not classified separately for men and women. There were 272 toilet facilities were set apart for women devotees. At Pampa, TDB had provided 264 paid toilets and 26 free toilets, of which 20 were for women. Four temporary sheds units (14 ft x 5 ft), with the intermediate petition, were provided for women to change clothes, TDB submitted.