The Kerala High Court has modified the timings for plying of tractors on the trekking path to Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala for transporting raw materials required for preparing ‘prasadam’ and ‘annadanam’, and directed the police to ensure these vehicles are not driven rashly.
The high court permitted plying of the tractors from Monday to Thursday between 10.30 AM to 4.00 PM and from 10 PM to 3 AM.
“Permission is also granted for transportation of pooja articles for daily rituals in the temple from 5 AM to 7 AM every day,” the court said.
The directions came after the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and also the Chief Vigilance Security Officer moved an application seeking permission to ply tractors for transporting raw materials used for preparing ‘prasadam’ and ‘annadanam’ as well as pooja articles.
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They had sought modification of the court’s December 10 direction to strictly enforce its November 2017 order which permitted movement of tractors for transporting goods from Pamba to Sannidhanam by stakeholders other than Travancore Devaswom Board from 12 midnight to 3 AM only.
The court modified the December 10 order and also permitted the use of “one tractor of Vishudhi Sena from 8 AM to 4 PM for removal of waste from Pamba to Charalmedu, beyond the regulated timing, to keep the trekking route clean and hygienic for the use of pilgrims”.
The court also permitted plying of heavy vehicles for transportation of tender coconut to the stores at Chelikkuzhi, which is at the starting point of Swami Ayyappan road, between 8 AM to 5 PM.
“The other stakeholders like hoteliers can be permitted to transport perishable items like vegetables, fruits, etc. from Monday to Thursday during 10 PM to 3 AM,” it said.
It directed the police to keep a constant watch to ensure only vehicles permitted by the court are allowed to ply during the regulated timings and listed the matter for further hearing on December 22.
The orders came on a petition initiated by the court on its own after receiving a complaint from a pilgrim claiming rash and negligent driving by a tractor on the trekking path to the temple.
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