Forestland handed over to TDB for Sabarimala development

via Pampa published on November 2, 2005

The long awaited transfer of 12.65 hectares of forest land in the Periyar Tiger Reserve for the development of Sabarimala was made here with the handing over of the documents by the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, at a function here today to Mr G Raman Nair, President, Travancore Devaswom Board.


So as to provide permanent power supply to the Forest Shrine,Sabarimala where around 40 million pilgrims visit every year during the two-month long pilgrim season, the Chief Minister has also inaugurated a 66-KV Substation.


Mr Raman Nair said that the proposed “Q complex” would be created in the allotted forestland at Marakoottam on the trekking path to Sabarimala from Pampa. The complex aimed at regulating the movement of devotees to the Sannidhanam, would have the capacity to accommodate 50,000 pilgrims at a time. It would be in compartments where adequate health care facilities including cardiology units having 8 beds, oxygen parlors, first aid centers, facilities for drinking water and snacks, toilets etc would be available. He said that the area would be developed without spoiling the sanctity and serenity of the tropical forest.


In fact, Sabarimala was not having permanent power supply system in the absence of a 66KV substation and as a result the Board was paying around Rs3.5 crore towards power charges at Rs14 per unit. With the commissioning of the substation this problem would be solved, he said.


Since the forest land has been now handed over to the Board it would also take up the project under the National River Conservation Programme the Rs 16 crore project at Sabarimala already sanctioned by the centre during the BJP regime.


Mr Kummanam Rajasekharan, General Secretary, Hindu Aikya Vedi who has also been invited to attend the discussions here by the authorities told HK that the government should reduce the power tariff for Sabarimala. Besides, infrastructure facilities for the pilgrims should have been taken up earlier so that they would be in place before the commencement of the pilgrim season on Nov 16.  

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