Sabarimala: Kerala govt files affidavit in HC

The Kerala government was rapped by the High Court for inadequate measures in the wake of Pulmedu tragedy which claimed the lives of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims.

Kochi: Rapped by the Kerala High Court for
inadequate measures in the wake of Pulmedu tragedy which
claimed the lives of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims, the state government
Friday filed an affidavit stating that it would draw up an
action plan for disaster prevention and also take up various
measures including development of Nilakkal base camp, which
would help to regulate the entry of pilgrims to Sabarimala.

In the affidavit filed by K Jayakumar, Additional Chief
Secretary, who is also the Home, Vigilance and Devaswom
Secretary, stated that the high-powered committee for
implementation of Sabarimala Master Plan had identified few
projects for better crowd management which would be completed
by next season.

An action plan for disaster prevention would be drawn up.
Development of Nilakkal as base camp and providing better
facilities for pilgrims would help to contain the pilgrims
there and regulate their entry to Sabarimala.

Creating additional space at `Sannidhanam` (Sanctum
Sanctorum) by constructing two storeyed walk way, creating an
exit over-bridge at the back of the temple, shifting the
Prasadam complex, improving facilities and safety at the points
at which pilgrims congregate to watch `Makara Jyothi`, were
among the projects.

The government would hold consultative meeting with
National Disaster Management Agency, state disaster management
agency and other experts and devise safety measures on the
route and other routes, the government stated in the

He informed the court that the exact sequence and events
leading to Sabarimala tragedy will be clear only after the
investigation of the Crime Branch was over.

Government also reiterated that 279 police personnel and
forest officials were deployed in the area after the Pulmedu

After the tragedy, the state government had pressed into
service all facilities for rescue operations and to ensure that
pilgrims are able to leave the place without difficult.

Government has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh
for those killed in the tragedy, he stated.