Left government not implementing Sabarimala plan: PM

April 11th, 2009 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Kochi, April 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday accused Kerala’s Left Democratic Front government of not taking active steps to implement the Sabarimala Pamba Action Plan that would have benefited thousands of pilgrims.
“Had the government here been proactive to the Sabarimala Pamba Action Plan, the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple for thousands of devotees would have been smooth,” Manmohan Singh said while addressing an election meeting.

The Rs.320 crore action plan under the National River Conservation Programme (NRCP) aims to check the pollution of the Pamba river. The central government has provided money to commence the first phase plan, while the state government and local bodies are to contribute 30 percent of funds.

The Sabarimala temple, situated on the Western Ghat ranges at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level and four km uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district in central

Kerala, is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrim centres in India. The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine has been going up every year.

The Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), which oversees the functioning of all temples in south Kerala including Sabarimala, said the prime minister had got it wrong.

TDB member P. Narayanan said a lot of work was on at the temple and its nearby areas.

“The plan has to be completed in 50 years time and it was two years back that the central government sanctioned 12 acres of forest land and set aside Rs.18 crores. There are two different projects - one is the Pamba project which is cleaning up the river by setting up sewerage plants and the other is the Sabarimala project,” Narayanan told IANS.

The work was progressing fast on a sewerage plant and a new 1.2-km stretch of a road leading to the temple was almost complete, said Narayanan, a former legislator of the Communist Party of India (CPI), which is part of the ruling aliance.

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