Pampa in spate, entry to Sabarimala restricted

Pampa in spate, entry to Sabarimala restricted

The river Pampa breached its banks on Monday, flooding shops, pilgrim facilities and the mandapam on the foothills of Sabarimala. Photo by special arrangement

With rising water in river Pampa setting off flash floods on its flanks, the Pathanamthitta district administration on Monday restricted entry of pilgrims to the Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the administration of the Ayyappa temple, urged pilgrims to avoid darshan at the temple where the niraputhari puja is scheduled to be held on Wednesday.

With the Pampa Triveni submerged, access through the two bridges across the river is blocked. Shops and other buildings on the banks have been flooded. TDB president A Padmakumar appealed to the pilgrims to postpone visits to the temple till water level in Pampa lowers.

Police personnel have placed barricades to restrict entry of pilgrims and are issuing alerts. The flooding has also led to the disruption of power and drinking water supply in and around Pampa.

According to the State Load Dispatch Centre under the Kerala State Electricity Board, storage in the Pampa reservoir stood at 99% of its capacity on Sunday.

The district has recorded 21.61 % excess rainfall since the onset of the southwest monsoon. The temple will be opened for the niraputhari rituals at 5 pm on Tuesday. The niraputhari puja will be held at the temple on Wednesday, between 6 and 6.30 am.

More landslips

The northern districts of Wayanad, Palakkad and Malappuram reported landslips on Monday while Munnar in the severely flood-hit Idukki district recorded the day’s biggest rainfall, at 11 cm.

A death was reported in Palakkad on Monday, taking the toll in the latest burst of torrential rain in the state to 40. Parts of Palakkad district received heavy rain on Monday.

In Idukki, the reservoir level continued to drop and stood at 2,397.04 ft at 6 pm, against a full reservoir level of 2,403 ft. Two of the five open shutters in the Cheruthoni dam were closed at about 7 pm.

The Kerala government has estimated flooding-related losses in the state at Rs 8,316 crore. It sought from the Centre immediate relief of Rs 1,220 crore and a special relief package to meet damages from what it estimates as the state’s worst floods since 1924.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Sunday announced an additional Rs 100 crore as a relief.