Udayavni Special

Sabarimala temple board not to file report in SC on prevailing situation


Team Udayavani, Oct 24, 2018, 3:19 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the Lord Ayyappa temple, on Wednesday decide against filing a report in the Supreme Court on the situation prevailing in Sabarimala after the top court allowed women of all age groups to enter the hill shrine.

The board also said filing a review petition against the top court verdict right now has no relevance. TDB member K P Sankara Das said the board would file a report only if the apex court asked for it. The board had earlier said it would file a report in the top court on the tense situation in Sabarimala.

With regard to the review petition, he said the board would reply if the Supreme Court sought its views while considering the review petitions pending on the Sabarimala issue. “There is no relevance of a review petition by the TDB now,” he said. Hearing on the 19 petitions challenging the apex court verdict has been posted for November 13.

The board’s move comes a day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asserted that the state government was not in favour of filing a review petition and was for going ahead with implementing the apex court verdict on entry of women of all ages into the temple.

Vijayan had also criticised the temple head priest and Pandalam Royal family, associated with the Sabarimala temple, on Tuesday. He took exception to head priest Rajeevaru’s remark that he would close the temple if women were allowed to enter the shrine.

The chief minister also asked the TDB to take action against the priest and sub-priest of the Sabarimala temple who joined the protest of Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 into the shrine.

Last week, the TDB had decided to approach the Supreme Court and submit a report on the situation following protests by Ayyappa devotees in the state after the LDF government decided to implement the apex court order.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has decided to sanction Rs 142 crore for implementing various schemes under the Sabarimala Masterplan development project, Vijayan said. The amount would be routed through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

Work on 10 sewage treatment plants at Pamba, vehicle parking centres at Nilkakkal, the base camp of the Lord Ayappa shrine and nearby Ranni, providing basic facilities for pilgrims at Erumeli, would be completed in the present phase, he said.

Besides, Rs 200 crore has already been sanctioned for repair and maintenance of roads leading to Sabarimala, he said. Rs 3.2 crore would be given to Panchayats near Sabarimala for providing facilities to Ayyappa pilgrims, he added. The annual Mandala pilgrimage season at Sabarimala will begin on November 16.  

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