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Sabarimala: Vijayan Cabinet Decides to Set up SPV to Provide More Facilities at Ayyappa Temple

The proposed SPV, which will be under government control, will take up development projects as per the Sabarimala master plan in a time-bound manner.

PTI

Updated:February 27, 2019, 6:20 PM IST
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Sabarimala: Vijayan Cabinet Decides to Set up SPV to Provide More Facilities at Ayyappa Temple
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File photo)
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government on Wednesday decided to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to provide more facilities and enhance basic infrastructure facilities for pilgrims at the Sabarimala hill shrine and its base camps at Pamba, Nilackal and nearby areas.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan here.

The proposed SPV, which will be under government control, will take up development projects as per the Sabarimala master plan in a time-bound manner, utilising the funds set apart each year in the state budget and the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), a government press release said.

The company would not be driven by profit and a governing body would be constituted with the chief secretary as chairman and department secretaries as members.

The commissioner of the Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the shrine, would be the convener, the statement said.

Besides, an implementation committee with the Devaswom principal secretary as chairman and the Devaswom Board commissioner as convener would also be constituted, it added.

In the 2019-20 state budget, Rs 739 crore had been set apart for various developmental projects.

The government said it would also ensure that the construction work at Sabarimala was environment friendly and in accordance with the uniqueness of the forest temple.

The government's decision comes as hardly eight months remain before the commencement of the Sabarimala pilgrim season, which begins in November.

The August 2018 floods in the state had wreaked havoc at Sabarimala and nearby areas, destroying most of the infrastructure and facilities, causing immense hardships to lakhs of pilgrims during the last pilgrim season which ended in January.

The hill shrine had also witnessed frenzied protests by devotees against the CPI(M)-led LDF government's decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine.
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