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Security beefed up in Kerala's Idukki ahead of Sabarimala Makara Jyothi darshan

While a senior police officer will oversee the deployment of police personnel, the district administration will coordinate various departments to ensure smooth   

Published: 13th January 2017 05:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2017 05:02 PM   |  A+A-

File picture of Sabarimala pilgrims. (EPS)

By Express News Service

IDUKKI: With one day left for the Makaravilakku festival at Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha temple, the police along with the district administration have made elaborate arrangements to in Idukki to avoid any stampede-like situation.

In what could be the worst human tragedy, in a stampede in 2011, about 104 persons who had come to witness the Makara Jyoti had died and over 40 persons were injured when a jeep crashed into homebound pilgrims at Pullumedu in Idukki district. While some got trapped under the jeep and died, the accident triggered a panic among the devotees leading to the stampede.

A senior police officer, not less than the rank of IG, will oversee the deployment of police personnel, and the district administration will coordinate various departments to ensure smooth and secure watching of Makara Jyothi at Pullumed, Panchalimed, and Idukki Sathram in Idukki. “We have already put in place all the arrangements.

A total of 1,300 police personnel will be deployed in 15 clusters in the district. A superintendent of police will lead the force in Pullumed and a deputy commissioner of police will be assigned to monitor the arrangements in Parumthumpara and Panchalimed. A total of 15 DYSPs and 18 Circle Inspectors will lead the force,” said District police chief K B Venugopal.

ADGP B Sandhya on Thursday had visited Pullumed and reviewed the security arrangements. According to him, around 500 police personnel will be deployed in Pullumed and Uppupara alone. Sabarimala special commissioner M Manoj had also reviewed the preparations and security measures, recently. He had directed the officials concerned to take sufficient safety precautions at Pullumedu, Parunthumpara and Panchalimedu areas, taking into account the heavy rush of devotees.

Meanwhile, district Collector G R Gokul said that the measures were taken giving thrust to the security of the devotees. "And to avoid the heavy traffic in the town, the newly constructed bridge has been already opened for the public," he added. Around 50 Aska lights will be set up at Pulumedu to ensure proper lighting of the area. Forest Department will deploy two elephant squads for the security of devotees. Besides, wildfire prevention system has also been set up.

The devotees are allowed to travel through Idukki Sathram and Pullumedu to Sannidhanam between 8 am and 2 pm. Devotees trying to get into the vantage points in the forest during the Makara Jyothi will be prevented. Public Works Department officials have built barricades and ambulance facilities and mobile medical services will be provided to the pilgrims, ensured the Health Department.

Local institutions and the Water Authority have taken measures to ensure adequate drinking water. Tanks of 500 liters capacity of drinking water will be facilitated at Pullumedu and water will also be made available at every one kilometre. As many as 50 KSRTC buses will be at the service. As part of the project 'Safe Zone', implemented by the Motor Vehicle Department, the service will be provided at the seven centers at Kuttikkanam. Telecom provider BSNL has set up a temporary mobile Tower at Pullumedu.



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