High Court directs Devaswom Boards to make proper arrangements for Sabariamala pilgrims

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The Kerala High Court on Saturday directed the Travancore Devaswom Board and Cochin Devaswom Board to ensure proper facilities are provided to Sabarimala pilgrims in the temples identified as Sabarimala edathavalams (transit camp) under their management during the forthcoming Mandala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season.

A Division Bench of Justices Anil K. Narendran and P.G. Ajithkumar issued the direction on Saturday in a suo motu petition while considering the report by Sabarimala Special Commissioner on steps to be taken to provide adequate facilities to pilgrims during the forthcoming season.

The temple advisory committees identified as Sabarimala edathavalams and also other temples as identified by the Devaswom Board concerned have been asked to extend necessary assistance to the Sub Group Officer/Devaswom Officer concerned in providing proper facilities to Sabarimala pilgrims in the respective temples.

The Court also asked the Guruvayur Devaswom managing committee to ensure proper facilities to Sabarimala pilgrims in Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple. The Assistant Devaswom Commissioner in the temples concerned under the management of Travancore Devaswom Board and Cochin Devaswom Board and the deputy administrator of Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple shall conduct periodical inspections to ensure this. Any deficiencies or shortfalls noticed during such inspections shall be brought to the notice of the court.

The Guruvayur Devaswom managing committee has been directed to perform the rites and ceremonies in Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple and the subordinate temples as per the custom and to provide facilities for the proper worship by the devotees. Similar directions have been issued to the Travancore Devaswom Board and the Cochin Devaswom Board.

The court also ordered 20 specific arrangements to be made in Guruvayur Temple for the benefit of Sabarimala pilgrims during the Mandala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season. This included, a separate queue for Sabarimala pilgrims, extra operational hours of Vazhipadu and Nivedyam counters, a separate counter for the sale of ‘Kettunira’ items at a reasonable price, distribution of free food to the pilgrims, toilet facilities for pilgrims at East and West Nadas, additional security arrangements and parking space, multi-lingual announcements, round-the-clock emergency wing and ambulance service.

The petition has been listed for further orders on Tuesday.

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