Kottayam: Kerala government agencies have readied special facilities for Sabarimala pilgirms, as the season is all set to begin Thursday.
The Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will run additional buses. At the Kottayam Medical College, pilgrims will receive free medical care 24 hours at a 20-bed special ward.
At the Kottayam KSRTC bus depot, 25 new buses will operate as Sabarimala special services.
Thirteeen have already arrived and the rest will join as the rush goes up. The corporation has deployed additional staff for Sabarimala operations.
A shamiana will be ready at the KSRTC station by Thursday.
According to the new plan, five buses will be ready for service to Sabarimala from the railway station at any given point of time.
Another five will be parked near the district jail for deployment as these buses set off on their trips.
KSRTC will operate services at 8 pm from the Ettumanur Mahadeva Temple to Pampa every night once the season begins.
It has been decided that all KSRTC buses coming from the northern side will invariably pass through the temple ground.
There won't be any Sabarimala special service from the Chanaganassery bus station though.
The only bus which will operate is the limited stop ordinary which belongs to Alappuzha depot and leaves Chanaganassery at 8 am daily. It will return from Pampa at 01.40 pm.
There are no special services for Sabarimala pilgrims from the Vaikom Mahadeva temple or the Ponkunnam KSRTC station either.
The KSRTC bus fare list to Pampa is as follows:
Kottayam-Pampa via Erumeli Rs 89
Kottayam-Pampa via Pathanamthitta Rs 106
Kottayam-Erumeli Rs 44
Erumeli-Pampa Rs 53
Kottayam-Pampa via Erumeli Rs 93
Kottayam-Pampa via Pathanamthitta Rs 110.
Kottayam-Erumeli Rs 46
Erumeli-Pampa Rs 55
Kottayam-Pampa via Erumeli Rs 106
Kottayam-Pampa via Pathanamthitta Rs 126
Kottayam-Erumeli Rs56, Erumeli-Pampa Rs 66
Kottayam Medical College Superintendent Dr. T.K. Jayakumar, who assured 24-hour free medical care for all pilgrims at the special ward, said the revenue section will also be open all 24 hours and will co-ordinate all matters as well as financial assistance related to the treatment of pilgrims.
Service organizations like Sevabharati, Ayyappaseva Sangham, Gurudharma Seva Samiti, Abhaya etc will be available for assistance round-the-clock.
Sevabharati mothers will provide food for pilgrims under treatment.
A team of healthcare workers will be ready to attend in case of any calamity.
There is no in-patient facility at the Erumeli social healthcare center where thousands of pilgrims arrive.
Patients are attended to at a primary level and referred to the Medical College if necessary. The intensive care unit functions only during the pilgrimage season.
A ward with 10 beds has been readied at the Kanjirapally General Hospital. Medical care is free here.
However, facilities like scanning are not available here and will have to be funded by the patients.
Vaikom taluk hospital will provide free medical care during Vaikathashtami at the Mahadeva temple.
This will be of benefit to Sabarimala pilgrims too. Ambulance services are also available 24 hours.