Kochi, Nov 17: With the Sabarimala season beginning today (Nov 17), the memories of the Pulumedu stampede last season stays afresh in the minds of pilgrims and others. The incident led to the death of close to 100 people. The famed Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala sees thousands of pilgrims arriving from different parts of the country to the sacred hill shrine.
With elaborate arrangements made this time around to avoid any untoward incidents, primary among them is the new security manual that has been put in place based on the recommendations of the interim report by Justice Hariharan Nair commission. The suggestions in the report include larger police deployment, restricted vehicle entry and the installation of removable tower-lights.
The Sabarimala masterplan is also in the pipeline. To control the huge crowd, the proposed virtual queue system suggested by the Kerala police got the nod from the Kerala High Court. This will facilitate online registration for pilgrims to visit the deity.
The existence of the tiger reserve in the area is creating hurdles in the development of the area and providing more infrastructure facilities to the pilgrims visiting Sabarimala.
Taking a more proactive approach this time around, the state govt has taken the essential steps to avoid any casualties. A division bench of Justices Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and C T Ravikumar has directed the additional director-general of police in charge of Sabarimala to file a report after the festival season ends that will be later submitted to the High Court along with the Devaswom's comments.