Follow TTD, Sabarimala staff told
Nellore , July 21:
The Union minister of state for textiles, Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, suggested that the administration of the Sabarimala temple take tips from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) to improve facilities and maintain hygienic conditions in the holy shrine.
Speaking to this newspaper over phone on Thursday, the minister said that she was taken aback by the insanitary conditions prevailing at Sabarimala during her visit to the temple a couple of days ago.
“I was shocked when I found pigs roaming around the guest houses at the Sabarimala hill.
There was garbage all along the trekking path and there were no toilets,” Ms Lakshmi alleged.
She said that she had advised the temple executive officer, Mr M. Satheeshkumar, to take steps to improve the conditions, both at Pampa and Sabarimala.
“I told them to study the methods adopted by the TTD which keeps Tirumala tidy and clean despite lakhs of devotees turning up everyday,” she said.
She said that the administration of Sabarimala temple had cited problems with the forest and environment , departments when she told them to set up toilets and overhead roofing all along the torturous trekking path.
“I told them to add these facilities in the master plan they are preparing and send it to me to take up the subject with the authorities concerned in Delhi,” Ms Lakshmi said.
When contacted, the Sabarimala executive officer, Mr Satheeshkumar, said that they had tried to involve Sulabh International for zero waste maintenance but the proposal could not be take up due to various reasons.
He said that they were ready to offer the contract if any other agency was ready to take up.
“We will include all the suggestions of Ms Lakshmi in the master plan and submit these to her within a week,” he said.
He said all endowment ministers of southern states will be attending a conference scheduled for August 12 at Tiruvananthapuram to discuss facilities for Sabarimala season.