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|January 22, 1999||
Hindus ask Kerala to improve Sabarimala
Various Hindu organisations have urged the Kerala government to implement the 'Harivarasanam' project report submitted in 1995 for the comprehensive development of Sabarimala and preservation of the forest cover adjoining the hill shrine.
In a joint statement issued in Pathanamthitta yesterday, they said the proposed project had the potential to provide maximum amenities to Sabarimala pilgrims and to avert tragic incidents as the recent landslide in future.
Formulated by 98 eminent persons including thantris, astrologers, sanyasins, eco-scientists, sociologists and leaders of various Hindu organisations who met at Pandalam on November 1, 1995, it was submitted to then chief minister A K Antony on December 23.
Though approved by a meeting of representatives of Hindu organisations, the Travancore Devaswom Board and various departments, it had been put into cold storage for reasons best known to the government.
The signatories to the statement included Hindu Aikya Vedi chairman Swami Sathyananda Saraswathy, Pandalam Palace Board president P Ramavarma Raja, Vishwa Hindu Parishad organising secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan and others.
The statement said that an expert committee would probe the Pampa tragedy and visit Hyderabad, Bangalore and Madras to gather information from eyewitnesses.
Even before getting the required forest land, the government could improve facilities at the Pampa government hospital, establish a 66 KV sub-station at Pampa, construct the parallel Sabarimala road and build embankments to stem soil erosion, it added.
These organisations had decided to submit a memorandum to the Union forest ministry seeking 250 hectares of forest land to facilitate the development of Sabarimala.
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