THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Works on pilgrim amenities at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, Pampa and Nilakkal, including additional facilities for women in the wake of the SC order, will continue as per schedule, the Devaswom Minister’s Office has said.
A decision on setting up a separate bathing ghat for women at Pampa will be taken at the high-level review meeting to be held next week. As per the plan, there will not be a separate queue for women at Sannidhanam.
The government expects a low turnout of women pilgrims in the 10-50 age group in the wake of the protests. Last year, 250 women belonging to the banned age group of 10-50 were blocked by the police at Pampa.
Meanwhile, the board will soon submit a report to the High Court on the preparatory arrangements. TDB president A Padmakumar said the report was a routine one which should be submitted to the HC before every pilgrimage season.
The government has asked the Law Department to rectify the omission of the word ‘Hindu’ from the eligibility criteria for appointing the TDB commissioner in the amended Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act. The Devaswom Ministers said the omission was a mistake and there was another provision in the bill that mandates that only Hindu community members can be appointed as TDB staff.
Since the commissioner would also come under the definition of staff, only Hindus could be appointed, said the officials.