Sabarimala: Govt files affidavit in HC
Rapped by the Kerala high court for inadequate measuers in the wake of Pullumedu tragedy which claimed lives of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims, the state government on Friday filed an affidavit stating that it would draw up an action plan for disaster prevention and also take up various measurers including development of Nilakkal base camp which would help to regulate the entry of pilgrims to Sabarimala.
In the affidaivit filed by K Jayakumar, Additional Chief secretary, who is also the Home, Vigilance and Devaswom secretary, stated that the High power committee for implementation of Sabarimala Master Plan had identified few projects for better crowd management which would be completed by next season.
An action plan for diaster prevention would be drawn up. Development of Nilakkal as base camp and providing better facitlies for Pilgrims would help to contain the pilgrims there and regualte their entry to Sabarimala.
Creating additional space at 'Sannidhanam' (Sanctum Sanctorum) by constructing two storeyed walk way, creating an exit overbridge at the back of the temple, shifting the Prasadam complex, improving facilties and safety at the points at which pilgrims congregate to watch 'Makara Jyothi', were among the projects.
The government would hold consultative meeting with National Disaster Management Agency, state disaster Management Agency and other experts and devise safety measurers on the trroute and other routes, the government stated in the affidaivit.
He informed the court that the exact sequence and events leading to Sabarimala tragedy will be clear only after the investigation of crime branch was over.
Government also reiterated that 279 police personnel and forest officials were deployed in the area after the Pulmedu tragedy.
After the tragedy, the state government had pressed into service all facilties for rescue operations and to ensure that pilgrims are able to leave the place without difficult.
Government has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for those killed in the tragedy, he stated.