THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Anticipating an increase in the devotee turnout at Sabarimala during the upcoming Mandalam-Makara pilgrimage season, the Health Department will deploy more staff at the Sannidhanam this year.
The high-powered meeting chaired by Health Minister KK Shailaja on Thursday decided to send 3,000 staff to the hill shrine for the healthcare needs of the devotees. An emergency operation theatre will be opened at Sanidhanam.
Sixteen treatment assistance centres will be opened on the trekking path. The centre will offer treatment to those suffering from heart and respiratory ailments. OP wing, intensive cardiac care clinics, operation theatres, oxygen parlours, mobile clinics and referral transporting vehicles like ambulances will be made available.
Government dispensaries at Sannidhanam and Pampa started functioning on November 1. More dispensaries will be opened by November 15. More staff, including doctors, will be appointed at PHC Nilakkal, CHC Erumely and Pathanamthitta General Hospital. Four mobile dispensaries will be made available at Nilakkal and Pampa.
Ambulance service will be available round-the-clock to rush pilgrims in need of specialised medical treatment to the Pathanamthitta General Hospital and Kottayam Medical College. In case of death of pilgrims, ambulance can be used for sending the dead body to destinations within and outside the state.
A modern cardiac care unit will be opened at the Erumely CHC. Emergency medical assistance centres will be opened at the transit centres at Pandalam Valiyakoyikkal temple, Upputhara, Kallidamkunnu and Peruvanthanam.
The Health Director will monitor the activities and he will be assisted by Health Additional Director (Public Health), nodal officer and deputy nodal officer. The Pathanamthitta District Medical Officer will lead the district-level activities.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan, Health Director R L Saritha, Medical Education Director A Ramla Beevi, Additional Director Meenakshy and Sabarimala nodal officer Anil V.
‘CPM will support women’s entry even in face of electoral loss’
T’Puram: Even if the party doesn’t win a single seat in the next polls, the CPM will not go back from its declared stance in the Sabarimala issue, said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Inaugurating a DYFI initiative to remind that ‘Kerala Stands Secular and United’ at the state capital on Thursday, he wondered how Nama Japa Yatra by the NSS can change the Supreme Court verdict. Kodiyeri said the CPM does not make its political stance aimed at electoral gains. Instead of bringing out an ordinance, the BJP has been indulging in violence on the street.
The saffron party wants to keep Sabarimala as a permanent issue like Ayodhya.
About half of the 3.5 crore population in the state consists of women. Of this, about one lakh women might have come out against the SC verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the hill shrine. How can that change the Supreme Court’s verdict? he asked.
If the state government doesn’t implement the verdict then it will face criticism from the apex court. “The government is committed to implementing the apex court verdict. Even if the verdict were against the Left’s declared stance, the government will implement the same. But in fact, the Left will continue with its stance favouring entry of women to the shrine,” Kodiyeri made clear.
The CPM secretary also criticised the Congress-led UDF. How can the UDF with the IUML as one of its constituents support such an agitation? He urged the RSP to withdraw from the agitation by UDF in the Sabarimala issue. “The Congress and the BJP have become birds of the same feather. They want to weaken and destabilise the Left government and remove Pinarayi Vijayan from the post of Chief Minister,” he alleged.
The CPM state secretary reminded the party’s critics that despite taking such stern stance in such issues, the Left front could make major electoral wins in 1987 and 1996. As part of the DYFI initiative, hundreds of lamps were lit. Writer S Saradakutty, CPM leaders Anavoor Nagappan and V Sivankutty also attended.