Govt to set up 'help desks' at Sabarimala

The Karnataka government will make special arrangements, including medical facilities, transport and help desks, for pilgrims from the State planning to visit Sabarimala next month, Muzrai Minister Kota Srinivasa Poojary said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said the government also plans to launch a dedicated website and open an information centre at Kandaya Bhavan in Bangalore to help devotees prepare for their trip to the pilgrimage centre.

The minister said Lakshmi Hospital has come forward to provide free medical assistance to devotees from Karnataka, taking the seven km trek between the Pampa base camp and the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple. The website will be launched by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on November 29. As part of security measures, personnel from the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) will be deployed at several points, en route to the pilgrimage centre.

Around 18 lakh devotees are likely to undertake the pilgrimage to Sabarimala during the last two weeks of December, to culminate with Makara Sankranti in January. Special vehicles with Kannada nameboards will be deployed at Pampa to assist pilgrims from the State.
He said the government plans to set up permanent accommodation centre for devotees from the State on a six acre plot in Sabarimala. A sum of Rs 10 crore has already been earmarked for the purpose, Poojary added.

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