THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Transport Minister Antony Raju has announced that extensive preparations have been made for the safe journey of pilgrims as the Sabarimala mandala season (the auspicious 41 days of the Sabarimala pilgrimage), is set to commence.
Minister Antony Raju made this announcement during a press meeting held at Pampa Saketam Hall, chaired by the minister himself, to review the arrangements for this year’s Sabarimala pilgrimage season.
During the meeting, the minister discussed the progress of the Sabarimala Safezone project and shared plans to launch a social media campaign aimed at familiarizing drivers from other states with the region’s roads. He emphasized that various safety measures, such as signboards, reflectors, sign blinkers, convex mirrors, and information boards with helpline numbers, will be installed along the pilgrimage route to enhance safety.
To facilitate the transportation of pilgrims during the Sabarimala Mandala Pooja Makarvilak pilgrimage season, KSRTC will operate additional services from various parts of Kerala. Bus services will be organized in three phases:
In the first phase, from now until December 5, 2023, KSRTC will deploy 140 low-floor non-AC buses, 60 Volvo low-floor AC buses, 15 deluxe buses, 245 superfast passenger buses, 10 super express buses, and three short wheelbase buses.
Starting from the second phase on December 6, 2023, KSRTC will operate 513 buses, including 140 non-AC low-floor buses, 60 Volvo AC low-floor buses, 285 fast passenger and superfast buses, 10 super express buses, 15 deluxe buses, and three short wheelbase buses.
Additionally, KSRTC has set up 14 Special Service Centers for the Sabarimala Mandala Pooja – Makarvilak pilgrimage season. These centers will be located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Kumali, Erumeli, Chengannur, Kottarakkara, Pampa, Punalur, Adoor, Thrissur, Guruvayur, and Kayamkulam.
Minister Antony Raju highlighted that, as part of KSRTC’s special service center, KSRTC is prepared to pick up passengers from any location if more than 40 passengers make reservations. Furthermore, KSRTC will introduce a virtual queue ticket system for Sabarimala darshan, in addition to its regular ticket booking services. Adequate parking facilities for KSRTC buses will be arranged at Kottayam and Chengannur railway stations, and chartered trips will be available upon request.
During this high-level meeting, notable figures including Transport Commissioner S. Sreejith IPS, Pathanamthitta District Collector A. Shibu, District Police Chief V. Ajith, KSRTC CMD (in-charge) Pramoj Shankar, Devaswom Board Officials, and representatives from various departments were in attendance.