Thiruvananthapuram : Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said by following the COVID-19 norms, Kerala government has decided to conduct the forthcoming Mandala Makaravilakku pilgrimage season in Sabarimala for a limited number of pilgrims.
The pilgrimage season starts from November 15, 2020 to January 20, 2021.
“Sabarimala is the most important pilgrimage centre in our state, but in the wake of COVID pandemic, it has been decided to hold this year’s Mandala Makaravilakku pilgrimage with a limited number of pilgrims without symbolically reducing any rituals.” CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in his Press conference.
A committee is constituted to examine and report on all matters relating thereto, including the number of pilgrims per day from each States, which consists of the Chief Secretary, the Chief of the State Police, and the Principal Secretaries of the Home, Devaswom, Forest and Health Departments.
The Chief Minister added that the admission to Sabarimala this year will be strictly regulated through the Virtual queue system of Kerala Police to a limited number of pilgrims.
“Arrangements will be made for the pilgrims who register through the virtual queue system. Those above the age of 65 years and below 10 years will not be allowed. Pilgrims should come with COVID negative certificate. To ensure that COVID patients do not reach for pilgrimage, antigen tests will also be conducted at various centres with the help of the health department,” he added.
Further briefing the details about the steps taken on this he said, “Pilgrims will have to start their return journey immediately after performing the darshan at Sabarimala. They will not be allowed to stay back in Pampa and Sannidhanam. Drinking water will be provided in steel containers for a refundable cost of ₹100, on the return of the container. Annadanam will be only for limited pilgrims and will be served on paper plates.”