Heavy rain hits Sabarimala pilgrims

via http://expressbuzz.com/states/kerala/heavy-rain-hits-sabarimala-pilgrims/337737.html published on November 28, 2011

SABARIMALA: Thousands of Sabarimala pilgrims were affected by the rain that lashed the area on Sunday.

Though the intensity of the rain was low in the morning, it became  moderate to heavy rain in the evening, causing severe hardships to the pilgrims at Sannidhanam and on the trekking path.

 Pilgrims found it difficult to climb the hillock as the trekking path between Pampa and Marakkoottam became slippery. The pilgrims who suffered the worst were the ones who took the queue path between Marakkoottam and Saramkuthi where the surface of the road was not levelled till date.

 In addition, the ongoing construction of the queue complex near at Saramkuthi, undertaken by the Travancore Devaswom Board, affected the flow of pilgrims owing to the bad shape of the road consequent up on the dumping of the building materials.

No top cover

Though the TDB has constructed roof for the three-fourth of the stretch of the trekking path between Pampa and Marakkoottam, it failed  the pilgrims who stand in long queues by not taking steps to construct roof for the entire stretch. Hence, the pilgrims are forced to suffer the hardships caused by the rain.

Swami Ayyappan Road

The renovated Swami Ayyappan Road linking Pampa and Marakkoottam was closed for tractor traffic owing to the slushy surface of the road. If the rain continues, the closure of the road for tractor traffic will affect the supply of raw materials for the prasadam, essential items for  free food, especially vegetables at Sannidhanam.

The demolition of the majority of 50-odd pilgrim shelters at Pandithavalam put the pilgrims in deep trouble owing to the lack of resting place. The pilgrims, who reach in the afternoon, are forced to stay back for another day for the ‘neyyabhishekam’ offering.

Hence, they are forced to  stand in the Valiya Nadappandal and the Nadappandal at Malikappuram. The contractors of the remaining pilgrim shelters take advantage of the situation and charge two times higher rates from the pilgrims.

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