Slated for completion ahead of the coming annual pilgrim season
The reconstruction of Pampa-Triveni, the base camp of Sabarimala, torn asunder by the 2018 floods, has reached the final stage and is slated to be completed ahead of the coming annual pilgrim season.
According to Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine, works are being carried out expending ₹3.86 crore from the State’s Plan fund and ₹71 lakh from the non-Plan fund. This is in addition to the reconstruction of the vented crossbars across the river to regulate water flow and restoration of the bathing ghats and irrigation network using a fund of ₹4 crore allotted under the Rebuild Kerala initiative.
“The left bank of the Pampa river had completely caved in during the floods, blocking the entry of vehicles to the parking ground here. To address this, the original course of the river has been restored while the construction of a gabion wall to protect the riverbank and the parking ground is nearing completion,” he said.
The construction of the Njunangar bridge, delayed in the absence of permission from the Forest Department, was also slated for completion by October.
Six stairways that lead to the river had been completed between Triveni and Njunangar, besides the reconstruction of the balitharas. The renovation of areas, including the Arattukadavu, was carried out using ₹2 crore allotted by the Union Tourism Ministry.
It has been three years since the location, battered by a heavy gush of water, was found buried under a mesh of soil, logs, and a large phalanx of roots. The floodwater cut off Sabarimala and the eastern parts of the Pampa from the mainland on the western side following the submergence of both the bridges across the river.
The water also displaced several structures along the riverbank here, even submerging the Triveni bridge in 3-4 ft thick deposit of sand. The boulders and soil that came down the river raised a new patch of land, diverting its course.
The sand deposits, which severely reduced the depth of the river, were later excavated with the support of the Forest Department. A move to auction off the material, however, had to be abandoned later.
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