In response to the significant increase in pilgrims visiting the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for improved coordination and crowd management measures.
During a special review meeting held in Thekkady, the Chief Minister evaluated the current situation at the temple and directed officials to ensure that arrangements are made to prevent any harm to the pilgrims.
The meeting was attended by Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan, Forest Minister AK Saseendran, Chief Secretary Dr. V Venu, Devaswom Board President PS Prashant, State Police Chief Sheikh Darvesh Sahib, district collectors, and other officials who participated online.
Statistics revealed that the average daily number of pilgrims during the first 19 days of the Mandala Puja was 62,000, which surged to 88,000 in the four days starting December 6, leading to overcrowding.
In view of this, the darshan (worship) time at the temple has been extended by one hour. Additionally, the Chief Minister recommended that spot booking be limited to only essential cases.
Previous consultation meetings aimed at facilitating darshan at Sabarimala were referenced, with an emphasis on the effective implementation of decisions made during those sessions. Special attention was urged to the systems prepared for women and children.
The Chief Minister also stressed the importance of adhering to the pre-decided parking schedule and called for strict traffic control measures. He suggested staggering the duty shifts of police officers rather than changing the entire force at once.
Notably, more police forces have been deployed at Sabarimala this season compared to the last.
The Chief Minister expressed condolences over the death of a child who had come on pilgrimage, underscoring the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all devotees visiting the sacred site.