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Misbehaving policemen at Sabarimala to be pulled up

Staff Reporter

Official says they are a menace to the police force

PATHANAMTHITTA: The irresponsible attitude of a few police personnel on duty has led to certain avoidable untoward incidents at Sabarimala, affecting the image of the entire police force which has been rendering a praiseworthy service at the pilgrimage centre, K. Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary, said here on Friday.

Mr. Jayakumar was talking to presspersons after holding a meeting of officials from various government departments and the Travancore Devaswom Board at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Friday.

He said stern action would be initiated against those police personnel who had misbehaved with the pilgrims. The police special officers at Pampa and the Sannidhanam should have proper coordination for crowd management at Sabarimala. The services of the National Disaster Response Force and the Rapid Action Force of the Central Reserve Police Force were also necessary.

He said officials should meet at the festival control room at Sabarimala daily to review the arrangements and rectify the defects, if any.

The number of cardiac casualties at Sabarimala during the ongoing pilgrimage season was 22 as on Friday. He said fast climbs along the steep stretches of the trekking path had been identified as one of the causes for such a large number of casualties. Continuous announcements should be made on the trekking path to make the pilgrims aware of the need to climb slowly. More facilities would be introduced for supplying medicated drinking water on the trekking path.

He said ‘Annadanam,' free feeding of pilgrims by different groups, had caused environmental pollution in different parts of the pilgrim centre and appropriate arrangements would be made to mitigate the problem.

Mr. Jayakumar, who is the chairman of the high-power committee for implementation of the Sabarimala master plan, said 12 development projects estimated at Rs.150 crore would be launched at Sabarimala as part of the master plan in February.

He said the proposed projects at the Sannidhanam would be launched after obtaining the consent of the chief priest (Tantri). Construction of a two-storey Valiyanadappanthal would begin in February. The Pampa-Sannidhanam ropeway would be set up at an estimated cost of Rs.10 crore.

Concreting of five parking bays at Nilackal and improvement of the ring road would be completed before the next pilgrim season.

M. Rajendran Nair, Special Commissioner appointed by Kerala High Court; K. Ravikumar, Chief Engineer of the board; V.S. Jayakumar, executive officer; and S. Sasikumar, police special officer, attended the meeting.

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