Sabarimala, where millions flock during the two-month annual pilgrimage season, was well-prepared to meet the garbage situation this time, after a reported deposit of 8,750 tonnes of plastic last year. On an average, one person leaves behind at least 250gm of plastic, which includes water bottles, chocolate covers, disposable raincoats, food covers, etc. This year, the Travancore Dewaswom Board (TDB) engaged more than 1500 workers for collecting the left-over food, plastic and other waste littered in the area. Except plastic, other wastes were sent to incinerators installed at Sabarimala and near Pamba river.
Speaking to CIJ, M Rajagopalan Nair, President of Travancore Dewaswom Board, said, “Proper management of the huge quantity of waste generated during the annual pilgrim season has been a major issue at Sabarimala and Pamba. The Government has set apart a budgetary allocation for waste management. TDB is aiming at making this pilgrim centre a ‘waste-free zone’ through various awareness programmes.”