Revenue exceeds last year in pilgrimage: Minister

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Pathanamthitta, Jan 15 (UNI) Kerala Devaswam Minister G Sudhakaran said the total revenue during Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season as on date came to Rs 72.52 crore, which was Rs 1.17 crore more than that of last year.

Talking to reporters at Sannidhanam, he said last year the total revenue stood at Rs 71.35 crore. This festival season through the sale of 'Appam' fetched Rs 1.56 crore and the amount from 'Kanikka' touched Rs 9.46 crore. During the 'Makaravilakku' period 'Aravana' was sold for Rs 8 crore as against last year's Rs 7.19 crore, he added.

Mr Sudhakaran claimed that the conduct of Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage was smooth and incident-free. Money collected from Sabarimala temple belonged to Travancore Devaswam Board, he added.

The government grant to the Board was only Rs 80 lakh. The government had decided to take initiative to include Ayyappa temple in the Guinness Book of World Records, he said yesterday.

He assured that from tomorrow onwards, each pilgrim would be given 10 containers of 'Aravana'.

Mr Sudhakaran said stringent action would be taken against those 'SIDCO' officials who were responsible for the 'Aravana Fiasco'.

Paripoornan Commission report should be implemented in toto.

UNI XR TB VP0437

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