Chennithala expresses concern over facilities en route to Sabarimala

Ramesh Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram: With just three days left for start of the annual pilgrim season at Sabarimala, Opposition Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala Wednesday shot off a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, expressing concern over pending infrastructural works at Nilackal and Pamba, en route to the hill shrine.

In his letter, Chennithala alleged that the government had ‘miserably’ failed to ensure even basic facilities during the annual Mandala-Makaravilakku season, which starts on 17 November.

He also pointed out that the facilities, which were destroyed after the August deluge, had not yet been refurbished. The Opposition leader listed out 19 points in his letter that, according to him, requires special attention and needs to be resolved and said that the repair works on the roads to Sabarimala were moving at a slow pace.

“Since there is delay in clearing the pending bills to the contractors, they are yet to take up major repair works. Also Punalur, Muvattupuzha, Chalakkayam routes are in a bad state and causes heavy traffic congestion,” he alleged.

He also alleged that the drinking water facility at Pamba was yet to be restored. “The pipelines which got damaged in the floods are yet to be replaced. Drinking water facilities are yet to function effectively,” Chennithala alleged.

After Pamba, which was the base camp of Sabarimala, was ravaged in the floods, the state government had decided to implement its earlier master plan and make Nilakkal the base camp. The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) has said that it has made all necessary arrangements to make available drinking water at Nilackal, which is the base camp.

“Facilities have been arranged to distribute 65 lakh literes of drinking water every day,” KWA said in a release. It also said that 12 water dispensers have been already installed and there will be 128 water kiosks.