The total revenue collection of the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala for the 2016-17 festival season stood at Rs.243.69 crore, State Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the Assembly today. Hundi collection alone comes to around Rs.89.70 crore and sale of ‘appam’ was Rs.17.29 crore, Surendran said in a written reply. Steps to built ropeway in Sabrimala to transport goods to the top of the hillshrine are progressing, he said, adding, getting permission from the Centre is the most important one. Work of the ropeway could be started once central approval is secured, he said.
The minister also said construction work that would not affect environment only would be allowed. The ropeway is planned to be build from the foothills of Pamba to ‘Sannidhanam’ to carry goods.
Lakhs of Ayyappa devotees from different parts of the country and abroad visit the temple, located in the forest region that forms part of the Periyar Tiger Wildlife sanctuary, during the main festival season– Mandala-Makarvvilaku-from November to January every year. The minister said the Centre has sanctioned Rs.46.14 crore for development of the Guruvayur temple under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD). Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd, the implementing agency, would execute the various works under the scheme, he added.