Sabarimala Prasad row: "Difficult to get organic raw materials", says Dewasom board

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Thiruvananthapuram: On the ongoing prasad controversy regarding the usage of inorganic cardamom in the preparation of Prasad, Dewasom board President K Ananthagopan said on Wednesday that it is difficult to get organic raw materials. Food products are only used after they are tested through government labs.

K. Ananthagopan further said about the controversy in preparation for Aravana (offerings from the temple), "Food products are tested through government lab and then only we use it. Out of 320 kilograms of raw materials for Aravana, only 750 grams of cardamom is used. And today it is hard to get organic raw materials. But we always try to get the best quality for the pilgrims."

Kerala High Court, on January 11, had ordered the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to immediately stop the distribution of 'Aravana Payasam' made with pesticide-laced cardamom, in Sabarimala Temple.'Aravana Payasam' is given to temple devotees as an offering. TDB informed the court that it would stop the making.

The High Court earlier ordered a test of 'Aravana Payasam' at a laboratory accredited by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The report confirmed that the cardamom used for making Aravana in Sabarimala has around 14 types of pesticides in them. The court issued the order after receiving this report.

The court also directed that the food safety officer of Sabarimala should ensure that Aravana which has cardamom and is not suitable for consumption is not distributed anymore. The court also directed to test the sample of Aravana again.

The court had further directed, "either Aravana should be made with quality cardamom after discussing with Spices Board, or the porridge can be made without cardamom."

A Division Bench of Justice Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar issued the order while considering a petition alleging that pesticides were found in the cardamom supplied for making the Aravana given to devotees.

After the Covid Pandemic, there has seen a huge surge in Sabarimala Pilgrimage year this year. This has made a huge impact on the revenue increase.

Travancore Dewasom Board President K Ananthagopan told the media, "The revenue for this Mandal Season from Sabarimala has an estimated amount of 351 crores."

"There was a delay in counting coins as it was being done manually by Devasom board employees, the coin counting will resume on February 5th which is next week. We will also try to use sensors to count coins as it is a hectic duty to count it manually," he added.


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