THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Assembly panel on Environment has come up with major suggestions in connection with the pilgrimage to the hill shrine. The report tabled in the House on Wednesday has major recommendations including restricting vehicle movement beyond Nilakkal, steps to maintain a plastic-free environment and exploring the possibility of a tributary to Pampa. The panel recommended the existing system of using public transport should continue. It has also pointed out the possibility of conducting a proper study on carrying capacity at the forest shrine.
Mullakkara Ratnakaran, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Environment, said the panel stressed the need to regulate private vehicles beyond Nilakkal. “Pilgrims can make use of the public transport system from there. Private vehicles should not be allowed. The existing system of giving vehicles pass should continue,” he said. The committee also wants motorbike to be restricted at Nilakkal.
There are also recommendations to ensure a plastic-free environment at the shrine. Steps need to be taken to create awareness to avoid plastic in irumudikkettu. If needed the government should seek the support of other state governments too. Also the use of chemical-based sindhoor should be avoided.
Observers suggest strengthening police security
Kochi: The team of observers on Wednesday submitted before the Kerala High Court that when the inflow of pilgrims increases, the police will face difficulty in ensuring incidents like stampedes do not occur. According to the report, the current focus of the police arrangements centres around tackling protests at Sannidhanam, Pampa and other places. It should be taken note that the current inflow of pilgrims was far below the peak. For the past few days, the inflow seems to be gradually increasing.
The situation in Pampa calls for special attention in this regard as the availability of space and infrastructure for crowd control remains much depleted following the floods. The changed pattern of crowd management with Nilakkal as a base camp with depleted infrastructure at Pampa are some of the issues to be factored in the police strategy to ensure safety and security of pilgrims during peak period like Makaravilakku. The court said depending on the intensity of the crowd, it was for the police to take appropriate steps so as to manage the inflow without causing much inconvenience to the pilgrims.