Bid to fast-track restoration of Sabarimala road

Special Commissioner seeks High Court directive to State govt.

Taking a serious note of the report that the Mannarakulanji-Pampa stretch of the road that leads to Sabarimala was highly vulnerable to landslides, the Sabarimala special commissioner has sought to implement the curative measures on a war footing.

In his report to the Kerala High Court, M. Manoj, special commissioner, submitted that there was considerable risk if the slope stabilisation messages suggested by the National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) were not carried out before the annual pilgrim season which would begin in November.

“It needs to be noticed that the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival season of 1196 ME will commence on 16/11/20. Several vehicles, including KSRTC buses, carrying pilgrims and lorries transporting jaggery, rice, etc. have to be plied. It is necessary to transport these articles to manufacture Appam and Aravana prasadam,” it said.

Coordinated work

Besides seeking to issue a directive in this regard to the State government, the Special Commissioner also requested for a directive to the Forest Department for coordinating with the Public Works Department and giving necessary concurrence to carry out the slope stabilisation and other necessary measures.

As the uphill and downhill of the road stretch which has developed cracks and fissures is a forest area coming within the Goodrical range, the coordination and aid of the Forest Department to carry out necessary works were a must, the report noted.

Only motorable road

Traffic along the 18-km road, the only motorable road with access to Sabarimala, has been banned ever since it developed cracks and fissures between Attathodu and Pampa during the heavy rains last month .

While examining these fissures, the NCESS found that many places along the PWD road were highly prone for slope failure.

According to sources, the PWD has already prepared a road stabilisation plan worth ₹1.70 crore and is awaiting an administrative sanction to commence the works. The delay in restoring traffic along the stretch is likely to have an impact on the preparations for the upcoming pilgrim season.

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