Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 05 June 2020 3.18 AM IST

'Strict action on hotels selling stale food at Sabarimala: Devaswom Board


SABARIMALA: The Travancore Devaswom Board said on Saturday that stringent action would be taken against hotels which sell stale food and charge exorbitant rates from devotees at the Sannidhanam in Sabarimala.

TDB President N Vasu, said health cards would be mandatory for employees of hotels functioning in the locality.

"We have instructed the authorities to take strict action against hotels which sell stale food and also charges exorbitant rates. Regular inspections will be conducted and we have also made health card a must for employees at the restaurants," he said at a high-level meeting held at the hill shrine.

The Sabarimala temple, which was opened on November 16 for the annual two-month long witnessed a heavy rush of devotees on Saturday, with over 80,000 of them so far trekking up the hill.

Meanwhile, A Sreenivas took charge as the special officer of Sabarimala, as also the second batch of police officials.

As per official records, the temple registered a revenue of over Rs 39 crore till Friday ever since it opened for the annual Mandala-Makaravilakku pooja on November 16.

A Board press release said the revenue earned at this time last year was only Rs 21 crore It also said that nearly eight lakh pilgrims have visited the shrine since November 16.

Devotees expressed happiness that there were no restrictions this time unlike last year, when the state government had imposed certain curbs following the violent protests after it decided to implement the September 28, 2018 verdict of the Supreme Court, allowing women of all ages to enter the shrine.

Though the apex court did not stay its September 2018 order, allowing entry of women into the temple, the LDF government this time said the shrine was not a ground for activism and had made it clear it would not encourage women who want to visit the temple for publicity.

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had on November 14 in a 3:2 verdict decided to refer to a larger bench to re-examine religious issues, including those arising out of its 2018 verdict, lifting a centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age visiting the shrine.

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