Drones and CCTVs — and thousands of cops — to ensure a safe and smooth Sabarimala pilgrimage

76 CCTV cameras have been installed and drones deployed to strengthen the security in and around the hill-top shrine.


Published Nov 16, 2023 | 8:43 AMUpdatedNov 16, 2023 | 8:43 AM

Sabarimala environment and butterflies

Drones, CCTV cameras and 13,000 police personnel are some of the security measures in place to ensure a smooth, safe and happy pilgrimage to the Lord Ayyappa shrine at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala for devotees.

The security arrangements were announced by State Police Chief (SPC) Shaik Darvesh Saheb ahead of the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season which will commence on 17 November.

Giving details of the arrangements, the SPC said at a press briefing on Wednesday, 15 November, that 13,000 police personnel will be deployed for security in six phases and it would also include special communication teams.

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Besides that, three temporary police stations have been set up, 76 CCTV cameras have been installed and drones deployed to strengthen the security in and around the hill-top shrine during the two-month long pilgrimage season, he said.

There will be 15 counters under the virtual queue system and, if required, dedicated counters would be put in place for the elderly, women and children, the officer said.

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‘Arm-band scheme’ for children

An “arm-band scheme” has also been implemented for the protection of children, the SPC said.

“The aim is to ensure devotees can have a smooth, safe, speedy and happy darshan of Lord Ayyappa and return. We will do the needful for that,” he said.

He also referred to the parking and other facilities arranged at ‘edathavalams’ — resting places along the pilgrimage route — for devotees and requested them to come in vehicles having fastags and that were not heavily decorated.

Saheb said that the Kerala High Court has prohibited the plying of heavily decorated vehicles and the Travancore Devaswom Board was implementing a parking system which makes use of fastags.

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