Scientific waste disposal and modern means for transportation of goods between Pampa and Sannidhanam should be the priorities at Sabarimala, K.P. Sankaradas, Travancore Devaswom Board member and prominent trade unionist, told The Hindu here on Monday. Mr. Sankaradas’s three-year tenure as TDB member ends on November 14.
He said about 65% of the waste generated at Sabarimala was food waste. The hotels, eateries and those engaged in distributing free food to devotees should take steps to dispose of the waste generated at their respective places.
He said the environment-friendly sewage treatment plant (STP) at Sannidhanam could treat five million litres of sewage a day. The STP had been functioning properly for the past one year, according to the State Pollution Control Board authorities.
However, the two-decade-old chemical-based STP at Cheriyanavattom which treated waste generated at the toilet complexes at Pampa was grossly inadequate, he said.
Mr. Sankaradas said the TDB had decided to construct a new STP at Pampa with a capacity to treat five million litres of waste a day and the work, estimated to cost ₹24 crore, had already been tendered. Another STP would be constructed at the Nilackal base camp, he said.
Mr. Sankaradas said a ropeway system linking Sannidhanam and Pampa for transportation of goods, including materials for preparing the vazhipadu items, provisions required for hotels and for the Annadanam, construction materials, and so on was a must to avoid the highly dangerous frequenting of goods-laden tractors.
He said the TDB and the Forest Department had completed a joint survey of land for setting up a 2.9-km ropeway.
The ropeway could be utilised for shifting patients and injured people too.
No more constructions
Mr. Sankaradas said the TDB and the government had decided not to take up any new construction at Pampa and Sabarimala so as to preserve the pristine glory of the area.
He further stressed the need to improve the basic facilities at various transit camps for the pilgrims across the State.
Mr. Sankaradas said the TDB had set up a Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) to ensure transparency and competency within the organisation while promoting its employees to higher grades. The Devaswom Recruitment Board chairman was the ex-officio chairman of the DPC too.