The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the state government to take steps for a complete ban of plastic and sale of materials which are not biodegradable at Sabarimala Sannidhanam.
“All beverages in plastic bottles, including aerated, and snacks in plastic covers should be banned,” the court said. The court had suggested that no articles of food other than ‘kanji’ (rice gruel) and necessary side dishes need to be provided in connection with the Sabarimala festivities and monthly pujas. Following the order no objections have come from any quarters till now, the Devaswom Bench said.
However, the court directed to provide some alternatives such as wheat or wheat rava gruel or some loose form of pongal to suit the needs of the pilgrims from other states. The court asked the state government and the Travancore Devaswom Board to put forward a specific proposal in this regard.
The bench observed that the stretch where pilgrims wait in the Nadappanthal down to Marakkoottam should be provided with an outer ring of fencing to prevent the wild pigs and boars from reaching the barricades. The court also suggested to issue prohibitory orders against littering and to control garbage movement and the order should inform the pilgrims through the media. “Once that is done any person violating the order would become an offender on the basis of Section 188 of IPC. The offender should be punished by way of simple imprisonment for one month or a fine up to Rs 1000. The state has the duty to maintain sanitation so as to preserve public health,” the court said.