TDB freezes fresh appointments

via Thiruvananthapuram published on November 8, 2005

The Travancore Devaswom Board which met here today has decided to freeze fresh recruitment to various posts in the temples administered by it in Kerala besides suspending the activities of the controversial Ecosmart company in preparing a master plan for the development of the forest shrine at Sabarimala.


Speaking to media persons after the Board meeting Mr G Raman Nair, TDB President said that suspending  the recruitment would have serious impact on the functioning of about 1,200 temples under its control, especially during the Sabarimala pilgrim season starting next week.


He said that the decision was taken based on the recommendations from the government. “However, we have decided to inform the government that it will lead to serious problems in the functioning of the temples”. The government decision has emanated following wide-spread allegations of corruption. Refuting it “as absolutely baseless, Mr Nair said “we are prepared to face any inquiry. We have done the whole process in transparent manner and even published the marks of entire candidates appeared for the the test in the internet”. 


In fact, it was for the first time in the history of the TDB that written tests were held for the selection of last grade staff, he pointed out.


On the controversy over the involvement of the Ecosmart, he said, it wass the government which had recommended the company to the Board for preparing the master plan for the development of Sabarimala. In view of the present fiasco, triggered by certain remarks by the company official that it would mobilize Rs 1,000 crore from the market for Sabarimala development and implement the projects like rope-way on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, the TDB decided to suspend its activities, he said.


The TDB, he said, had not taken any decision to implement any project for Sabarimala development under BOT. “Even if we think about it, we will do it only after inviting global tenders”, he said.


As per the Board’s knowledge Ecosmart had been entrusted only with the task of preparing the master plan. The Company had already already apologized for making such irresponsible statements, he said.


He said that the Board had already completed the base-camp at Nilakkal, while the Chalakayam – Pampa road had been rebuilt.  Work on the queue-bay from Marakkottam to Sharamkuthy had started and it would be completed before the beginning of the season on Nov 16, he said. Besides, the number of oxygen parlours at Pampa and Sannidhanam would be increased apart from strengthening the cardiology centers at these points.


He said that special squads would be deployed to distribute medicated water to the pilgrims during the season.



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