A high-level meeting has been convened at the Prime Minister's Office in New Delhi on Monday to review security arrangements at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala, where the two-month-long pilgrimage season began on November 15.
The meeting, called by Prime Minister's Principal Secretary T K A Nair will be attended by state DGP Jacob Punnose and Additional Chief Secretary and Special Commissioner for Sabarimala K Jayakumar.
The meeting will take stock of the security arrangements for the temple where millions of devotees visit during the 'mandala' and 'makaravilakku' festival, Jayakumar told PTI.
Last year also, a similar meeting was held in Delhi to assess the security arrangements including the deployment of central forces, he said.
Over 14,000 police personnel, including contingents of Rapid Action Force, would be on duty in different phases during the pilgrimage season, culminating on 'makara samkranthi' on January 14.
The state government had also sought the service of one company of the National Disaster Response Force during the festival.
Tight security is already in force in and around the temple where devotees are allowed to proceed only after thorough checking both at the base camp Pampa and uphill 'Sannidhanam', where the temple complex is located.
Shrine receives Rs 7.37 crore in five days
The Sabarimala hill shrine received an income of Rs 7.37 crore in the first five days against Rs 6.11 crore during the period a year ago.
The temple of Lord Ayyappa has been witnessing heavy turnout of devotees despite intermittent rains.
According to Travancore Devaswom Board sources, the total proceeds included Rs 3.18 crore from distribution of 'aravana' prasadam, Rs 2.98 crore by way of cash offerings or 'Kanikka' and Rs 60 lakh from distribution of 'appam' prasadam.