SABARIMALA: The ambitious Sabarimala ropeway project is facing uncertainty due to objection from Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) authorities. It is meant to facilitate movement of goods to Sannidhanam from Pampa, besides emergency evacuation.
The delay in giving clearance has stalled the soil test by Kolkata-based Damodar Ropeways, the contractor, for erecting a pillar for the ropeway in the reserve forest, said reliable sources.
Though the request for granting clearance for the soil test was submitted by the Devaswom authorities on behalf of the Sabarimala High-Power Committee headed by former High Court Judge S Sirijagan months ago, the PTR has not reportedly given the green signal, sources said.
The Ranni Divisional Forest Officer has already given clearance for the soil test for the lower terminal point at Pampa hilltop, which comes under the Forest Department, sources said. However, on the other side of the Pampa, the forest comes under the PTR and the upper terminal point is located near the police barracks near Malikappuram temple. However, the clearance is yet be given by the authorities, said sources. Hence, the technical team from Damodar Ropeway, which came here on May 11, had to return empty-handed after a few days, sources said.
The location survey for the ropeway project having a total length of 2.7 km and a width of 12 m, was conducted by a joint team of the Forest Department, PTR and TDB under the overall supervision of the Kerala High Court, sources said.
Clearance for soil test not under PTR purview
On the delay in giving clearance for the soil test, Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar said while conducting the soil test, the forest’s flora and fauna will be affected. Hence a clearance is needed, he said. “If such a clearance is needed, the decision should be taken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests,” Surendrakumar said.
ABASS calls for urgent steps
The Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham (ABASS) has called for immediate measures to implement the Sabarimala ropeway project. Flaying the negative attitude of Periyar Tiger Reserve authorities, ABASS general secretary Velayudhan Nair said the delay in granting permission was hampering projects aimed at improving basic amenities for the several crore Sabarimala pilgrims. He urged the Centre and state government to intervene in the matter to fast-track the project’s clearance.
Sabarimala temple to close today after monthly poojas
Sabarimala: The abode of Lord Ayyappa will close on Sunday, marking the conclusion of the five-day monthly pooja for the Malayalam month of Idavom. Sahasrakalasam, Kalabhabhishekam and Laksharchana will be the special rituals to be performed on the concluding day of the monthly pooja. In connection with Sahasrakalasam, Thantri Kandararu Rajeevaru performed kalasapooja at Sopanam in the presence of Melsanthi Vasudevan Nampoothiri at 4 pm on Saturday.
Kalabhabhishekam, marking the conclusion of the ritual, on the idol of Lord Ayyappa, will be performed by the thantri during ‘Uchcha pooja’. The ritual will be performed after the procession carrying Brahmakalasam circumambulates the Sreekovil. As part of the ritual, the thantri will perform Brahamakalasa pooja at the mandapam of the temple at 6 am, in the presence of the melsanthi. After Brahmakalasam, the thantri will lead dozen-member scholars in chanting Vedic mantras. Udayasthamana pooja, Padi pooja and Pushpabhishekam will be the other rituals to be performed at the temple. The temple will close on Sunday after Athazha pooja and Harivarasanam at 10 pm.