The holy Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala will temporarily remain inaccessible to pilgrims following the flooding of the Pampa Triveni bridge. The bridge due was submerged due to water gushing from the opening of two dams due to heavy downpour in the district.
The shutters of the Kochupampa and Anathode - Kakki dams (which provide water to the Sabarigiri Hyderoelectric Plant) in Pathanamthitta district were opened due to rising water levels.
According to reports, pilgrims traveling to Sabarimala have been instructed to not visit the temple as the river is flowing in full spate in the region. The district administration is monitoring the situation and have restrained devotees at Erimeli and Pathanamthitta as Sabarimala remained inaccessible to the public.
Several shops, godowns and the first floor of a hospital have been completely submerged due to the rising water level in Pampa Triveni area, according to local sources. Pilgrims have to cross the Pampa Triveni bridge to reach the Pampa Ganapathi temple. In the current scenario, it is not possible to cross the bridge and reach the muddy track that connects it to the temple, according to reports. The Travancore Devaswom board has instructed pilgrims to temporarily avoid visiting the temple for the Nirputhiri pooja that is set to take place tomorrow.
The shutters of the Anathode Kakki dam were been opened by 2 feet to release the water which is currently at 951.1 mts. Two of the 6 shutters of the Kochupampa dam too were opened by 1 feet. An alert has been issued to pilgrims and others visiting the Pampa and Kakki rivers. According to officials at Kerala State Electricity Board, the water levels in the Pampa reservoir is expected to increase due to the heavy rainfall in the district.
In the last week, 23 dams were opened in Kerala due to unprecedented rainfall in the state. Ten out of the 14 districts witnessed flash floods. Thirty seven people have died due to rain related calamities and over one lack people have been displaced due to the floods.
The state government has undertaken rescue and relief operations with the help of local police, NDRF, Army, Navy and helicopters from the Indian Airforce. Material losses to the tune of Rs 8000 crore have been reported due to the rains and floods in the state. The Kerala government has submitted a memorandum asking for Rs 1220 crore as part of immediate relief fund to the state. The centre has so far given Rs 100 crore for immediate relief.