Sabarimala Pilgrimage: Tale of an arduous journey and ill maintained transport buses

published on November 18, 2014

Pathanamthitta: Come Mandala pilgrim season and there gears up all devotees of Lord Ayaappa to travel in ill maintained state transport buses of KSRTC, which are way past retirement. Sources state that old buses that have survived retirement have been allotted for the pilgrims bound for the holy shrine. This has only served to augment the woes of pilgrims, who face other distressing situations like lack of proper basic facilities, unkempt roads etc.

The first of the services flagged off from Chenganoor by MLA PC Vishnunath broke down on the way. “The journey could resume only after the arrival of mechanics from Pathanamthitta. Buses that are over five years have been set aside for Sabarimala pilgrims,” informed sources.

Special services from various places began yesterday, along with the commencement of bus services from Pampa depot. The previous years witnessed better services with the grant of newer buses. However, among the buses provided this year to Pathanamthitta and Chenganoor, it is said that many of them have been given cosmetic uplifts, with the pathetic reality cleverly concealed beneath. “Many of them have worn out tyres,”said sources.

Owing to faulty buses and services, pilgrims have complained of delay in journey resulting in pilgrims being unable to avail facilities like virtual booking. The suggestion that special buses need not be allocated to Sabarimala and that regular buses would suffice, has led to raging controversy. The entry of daily commuters along with the shrine bound pilgrims is said to be causing pilgrims untold hardships.

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