The Forest Department has opened two special offices at Sabarimala, one at Pampa and the other at the Sannidhanam, to control and coordinate various activities of the department, and ensure quick response as and when needed during the ongoing annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage.
Each unit has a strength of 16, which includes a Range Officer, a section officer, and 14 beat forest officers. The two special units would function under the Assistant Conservator of Forests, with office at Cheriyanavattom.
Routine searches would be conducted in the fringe forest areas to check illegal stores of tobacco, narcotic and alcoholic items, plastic materials and so on in the forest areas. Collection of firewood from and dumping of waste inside the forests would be checked and controlled by these units.
Forest control room at Sabarimala would ensure protection of wild animals, removal of dangerous trees, and various other activities to assist the conduct of the pilgrimage. The forest control room staff would monitor the cleaning drive on the forest path leading to Sabarimala with the help of the government staff on duty and the Sabarimala Sanitation Society workers. Snake catching experts with equipment were being posted at both the units.