Sabarimala | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Pathanamthitta: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) dropped the move to open Sabarimala temple for ten days during monthly puja after Tantri Kandaru Rajeevaru disagreed on changing the current system. Also the board assessed that opening the temple for 10 days will cause only more loss than profit.
Earlier, the Devaswom Board had mulled extension of the monthly puja for 10 days as the income during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season dropped. The government directed the board to take a decision after considering the opinion of the Tantri.
However, the board meeting held on Thursday decided to ask the government to allow 15,000 pilgrims per day when the temple opens for puja during the Kumbham month. The board is of the opinion that more pilgrims should be allowed to overcome the loss during the pilgrimage season.
As the COVID graph increases in the state, the health department will be giving the final word in this matter. It is learnt that the police have no disagreements in increasing the number of pilgrims. The temple will be opened for Kumbham monthly puja on February 12.
Only those who book virtually will be allowed to have darshan. As there is no facility to conduct antigen test in Nilakkal, pilgrims should perform RT-PCR test within 24 hours. On February 14, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan will be visiting the temple.
As only 200 pilgrims were allowed in the beginning of pilgrimage season and 5000 during Makaravilakku season, the income of the board decreased. Only Rs 21 crore could be earned this year. At least Rs 50 crore is required to pay the employees' salary, pension and the board's regular functions.