Pathanamthitta: Sabarimala Ayappa temple has been witnessing a huge rush of pilgrims since Friday night. Manorama News reported that the queue system turned into a complete failure as many pilgrims started to break fences and take shortcuts through forest paths to enter the temple easily.
Many of these pilgrims claimed that they were forced to break the queue system after waiting in the long queue for hours.
It is alleged that the police failed to make necessary arrangements in the sannidhanam in view of the rise in the number of pilgrims. According to reports, compared to Keralites, large groups of pilgrims from other states have been ascending to the hill shrine this week.
In order to manage the crowd, police have imposed traffic restrictions in Pathanamthitta and on roads to Sabarimala. At present, police have been stopping vehicles carrying the pilgrims at the stop-over points (Idathavalam). Hence, the pilgrims including children and women are forced to wait for hours. A long queue of vehicles is found on the route from Nilakkal to Thulappally. A similar situation has been experienced in the Erumeli area too since Saturday morning. According to reports, the pilgrims are unable to have food and use the toilets due to the crowding.
Amid this, devaswom minister K Radhakrishnan has instructed the officials to take immediate action to control the rush. He has asked the police and devaswom officials to allow the pilgrims to have darshan soon and clear the queue.
The authority has also come under fire for deploying a single ambulance at the temple where over 900 devotees are expected daily. Observing this, the minister ordered to ensure better healthcare facilities including more ambulances for the pilgrims.
Health minister Veena George said that essential medicines and equipment will be taken to Sabarimala soon. Special rescue ambulance which is currently in Pamba will be taken to Appachimedu soon, she added.
It is learnt that police failed to streamline the flow of the pilgrims as the new batch of officials was deployed on Friday.