Now, temples in Kerala out of bounds for beggars, lottery vendors

Now, temples in Kerala out of bounds for beggars, lottery vendors

Begging and selling of lottery tickets in temples and its surroundings in Kerala have been prohibited from Thursday.

A division bench of the Kerala High Court issued the order taking suo motu cognisance of the growing menace of begging in and around various temples in the state, especially at the famous hill shrine of Sabarimala, where beggars from neighbouring states come in hordes during pilgrimage season. 

The bench, comprising Justice Thothathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Anu Sivaraman, said the prohibiton should be strictly implemented in all temples, including 'Sabarimala sannidhanam', Pamba and other major shrines under Travancore and Cochin Devaswom boards. 

The bench also directed revenue authorities, District Collectors, Executive Magistrates and Revenue Divisional Officers (RDO)s to ensure compliance with the direction. 

The court also banned sale of lottery tickets inside temple compounds and said any violation should be brought to the police's notice. 

Meanwhile, in another proceedings before the same bench, the court found that drinking water quality of Pamba had shown very high concentration of coliform bateria upstream of Pamba, which is the drinking water source for Sabarimala and its surroundings. 

Sewage discharge from toilets of guest houses at Sabarimala appears to be the reason for overflow from sewage collection tanks, the court held. 

The bench also directed Travancore Devaswom Board and a high-powered committee to inform the action taken by tomorrow.

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