Chandy hopes court won't put curbs on Sabarimala pilgrimage
Posted on: 29 Sep 2012
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday expressed confidence that the state would be able to convince the apex court to see that there should be no restriction on the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
The chief minister made this observation in a statement issued here in the wake of a report submitted before the Supreme Court by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
A famous pilgrimage site for Hindus, the Sabarimala temple, according to the NTCA report, is located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Pathanamthitta district, about 120 km from the state capital.
'The apex court is well aware of the famous Sabarimala temple. The master plan for the development of the Sabarimala temple, taking into account the next 50 years, has been prepared under the directions of the apex court,' Chandy said.
'An area of 12.67 hectares of land from the PTR was released by the centre with the knowledge of the apex court. We are quite confident that we will be able to prevail upon the apex court that no restrictions should be imposed on the Sabarimala pilgrimage,' said the chief minister's statement to the media here.
'We will file our affidavit before the apex court on this issue on Monday. The affidavit has been drafted after discussion with the forest and Devasom departments,' Chandy said. Devasom in Malayalam means 'property of god', and alludes to state-government backed trusts that manage many temples in the state.
'The Sabarimala temple has been in existence even before the setting up of the PTR. Those arriving at the temple are not visitors, but pilgrims. The temple is located in the buffer zone of the PTR, and not in the core area,' Chandy said.