The Kerala state cabinet has decided to set up a
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for comprehensive development of Sabarimala, Pamba,
Nilackal and transit camps for pilgrims under the Sabarimala Master Plan. A
special purpose vehicle is an entity which is formed for a single, well-defined
and narrow purpose. An SPV can be formed for any lawful purpose.
The Sabarimala master plan envisages a)
Infrastructure Development, b) Ecological Sustainability and c) Pilgrim
facilities. It encompasses objectives of planned overall development of a) Sannidhanam
area, the abode of Lord Ayyappa on the mountain top, b) Pampa – the river front and the Pampa area, c)
Trekking paths to the hill top, d) base camp facilities at Nilakkal, e) feeder
towns/places like Erumeli, Pathanamthitta, Vandiperiyar etc. and e) the
approach roads to Sabarimala
The SPV would be a no-profit company. It would
use the budgetary allocation and funds allotted by the Kerala Infrastructure
Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) to complete the development activities at
Sabarimala in a time-bound manner.
The SPV would have a governing body chaired by
the Chief Secretary, with Secretaries of various stakeholder departments as
members. The Commissioner of Travancore Devaswom Board will be the convenor.
The Sabarimala temple is a Hindu temple dedicated
to Lord Ayyappa. It is situated on a hilltop named Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta
district, Kerala. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that women, irrespective of
age, can enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. Previously, girls and women in the
10-50 age group were prohibited from entering the Sabarimala temple.