Sabarimala:Poor crowd management

published on December 11, 2007
Author:P. T. Mohanan Pillai

SABARIMALA: Poor crowd management at the Sannidhanam here is causing hardships to thousands of pilgrims who are forced to stand in long queues for ten to 12 hours for darsan at the Sabarimala temple.

The most intriguing aspect of the poor and unscientific crowd management by the police is the presence of less number of pilgrims in the queue for the darsan in front of the Sreekovil and the flyover at Sopanam and a stampede-like situation at Nadapandal and the blocking of pilgrims at several points on the trekking path even up to Sabaripeedom.

Instead of speeding up the flow of pilgrims at the Holy Steps and the flyover, the restriction of pilgrims at the Nadapandal-end is the main reason for the delay in clearing pilgrims in the queue.

The presence of half a dozen metal detectors at Sannidhanam and the delay in clearing the pilgrims in the name of security check also contribute to the delay in clearing jam-packed queues.

Instead of the normal time of eight hours for the pilgrims who stand in the queue at Marakkoottam for darsan at Sopanam, it takes even 12 hours at present due to the poor crowd management.

Lack of adequate number of police personnel at Sabaripeedom, Marakkoottam and Saramkuthi puts the pilgrims in severe hardships.

Making things worse, police resorted to blocking pilgrims at several points at Pampa foot-overbridge and near Triveni bridge, instead of blocking them below the Pampa Ganapathi temple steps in front of the Arattukadavu.

Blocking the pilgrims at the beginning of Pampa foot-overbridge on the opposite side of Manappuram is resulting in overcrowding due to lack of adequate space there.

Similar is the situation near Triveni bridge where the pilgrims, after alighting from their vehicles, are forced to stand for hours.

Lack of communication gap on the latest crowd position between the police personnel at Sannidhanam and Pampa is also contributing to the mess.

A team of crowd management experts is needed for the scientific management of the heavy flow of pilgrims.

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