52 Danger Zones On Sabarimala Pilgrimage Route

52 Danger Zones On Sabarimala Pilgrimage Route – Travel With Care

Exercise caution while traveling on the Sabarimala pilgrimage route, as there are 52 identified danger zones. Stay vigilant and travel with care.

The Sabarimala pilgrimage route is fraught with 52 high-risk zones, yet there is a glaring absence of road safety measures. Notably, the Department of Motor Vehicles lacks the necessary equipment, such as a crane, to promptly handle vehicles involved in accidents. A comprehensive joint inspection carried out by the District Disaster Management Authority, Motor Vehicle Department, Maramat, Police, and Fire Rescue Services has identified 52 perilous areas on the Mannarakulanji-Chalakayam and Erumeli-Chalakayam roads, the primary routes to Sabarimala. Unfortunately, no new initiatives have been implemented, and the existing system remains unchanged from the previous year. Furthermore, many areas along the route lack a proper system to delineate the roadside, posing additional challenges, particularly in foggy conditions.

Danger Zone
Kanamala bore the brunt of the impact. The Kanamela Bridge acts as a dividing line between Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts. Spanning from Naranamthod to Ilavungal, the road features four sharp bends. The terrain remains consistent, marked by a steep descent where oncoming vehicles are obscured. A tragic incident occurred two months ago when a pilgrim bus overturned on this treacherous stretch. Unfortunately, there are no warning signs in place.

The stretch from Mannarakulanji to Ilavungal along the Mannarakulanji – Chalakkayam road, as well as the section from Kanamela to Ilavungal on the Erumeli – Chalakkayam road, and the Bharnikav – Mundakayam route were included as segments of the National Highway.

Laha Great Bend: Permanent Danger Zone

Laha Vilakkuvanchi bend is a danger trap on the Sabarimala road. This is where most of the accidents occurred during the last pilgrimage. The accident is caused by the vehicle of those who are returning after the darshan. Humps are installed at 3 places before the big bend. Since then the risk has decreased.

Last year, the majority of accidents occurred in this area, and unfortunately, no new measures have been taken this time. Following the accidents last year, the road was widened slightly with concrete. However, this time, the focus was on tarring without the installation of a warning board. It’s worth noting that a blinker light was installed last year.

Kambakathum Valavu : The primary challenge in this location is the dense fog. Even a light drizzle is sufficient to blanket the area in snow, rendering the road invisible. This stretch features a sharp curve and was previously notorious as one of the most dangerous spots in the region. There are merely two humps along this route, and although the blinker light was active before, it is currently not visible.

The Void Has Been Filled: The road section between the station and Attathod suffered a collapse, resulting in the formation of a hazardous pothole. Prompt repairs have been carried out to prevent vehicles traveling along that stretch from encountering the pothole. The emergency response plan was orchestrated by a team under the guidance of Seena Rajan, the Executive Engineer of the Repair department. In this area, a protective wall crumbled due to a fallen tree, necessitating days for reconstruction. The decision has been made to defer the completion of the remaining work to a later time.

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Road Safety Authority Fund

The Road Safety Authority has allocated Rs 54.2 crore for implementing safety measures in the high-risk zone following the commencement of the pilgrimage. Consequently, the implementation of security measures is expected to be delayed. The designated funds are intended for enhancing safety on the main routes frequented by Sabarimala pilgrims in the Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Idukki districts. The requested funds will cover the installation of blinker lights, crash barriers, reflectors, rumble strips, and hazard markers. These safety measures will be implemented along the routes from Mannarakulanji to Ilavungal, Erumeli to Ilavungal via Kanmala, the National Highway section, and from Ilavungal to Chalakkayam via Maramat. The lingering question pertains to whether the pilgrimage season will proceed as planned by the time the tender process concludes and the safety installations are completed.

Department Of Motor Vehicles Without Crane

The Department of Motor Vehicles faces a challenge in managing accidents on the Sabarimala road, as they lack a crane for vehicle retrieval. Despite the establishment of a safe zone centered around Ilavunkal, the department does not possess its own crane. A request was submitted for renting a crane, but due to insufficient funds, permission was denied. The existing Department of Motor Vehicles crane, which is over 15 years old can`t be used. The necessity for a robust crane capable of lifting 15 tons is evident, and the police now have a crane located in Nilakkal. Motor vehicle officials emphasize the need for two cranes to facilitate efficient rescue operations in the event of an accident.

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