The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Travancore Devaswom Board to take steps to provide suitable fencing at the entrance to the Nadappanthal at Sabarimala.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Thottathil Radhakrishnan and Justice A V Ramakrishna Pillai issued the directive while considering a report of the Devaswom Ombudsman in this regard.
“The TDB will immediately take steps to provide fencing, barricade or cattle trap at the entrance to the Nadappanthal and at other important places from the Pampa to Marakkoottam and from Marakkoottam to Nadappanthal wherever en route shelters are already provided with,” the court held.
The Forest Department has submitted that if the fencing construction was in terms of the master plan and within the land allotted to the board, it will not have any objection.
The court also considered the suggestions to provide only rice gruel at Sannidhanam during the pilgrimage season.
The TDB had submitted that insisting on rice gruel only at Sannidhanam would mean that all the hotels and other stalls currently functioning in the area have to be stopped and that the TDB would suffer a substantial revenue loss.
“Unlike other pilgrim spots, a large number of pilgrims used to stay at Sannidhanam for days, especially during the Makaravilakku season. Any restriction regarding food would only create unrest among the pilgrims as a result of which the flow of pilgrims is likely to come down,” Counsel for the TDB V V Nanda Gopal Nambiar submitted.