Lakhs of Lord Ayyappa devotees take mandatory dip in River Pampa before proceeding to the shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala in the state during their annual pilgrimage. The flow of devotees remains incessant between November and January every year, and during this period the river gets highly polluted because of clothes, garlands, flowers, and other items being discarded by these devotees.
Over the years, the pollution level in this river has been increasing, and the government has envisaged a plan to purify the river water by setting up water purification plants at important points.
People living in various places around Sabarimala Hills depend upon River Pampa for their requirements, both for consumption and agriculture. Therefore, there is an emergent need to maintain cleanliness of river water. If the plan of the government moves ahead as envisaged, the devotees, who were facing the need to take bath in contaminated water annually during the pilgrimage, will be able to have the satisfaction of taking bath in clean water in about two years time from now.
PJ Joseph, Kerala water resources minister, says that Israel has been in the forefront in using modern technology for water purification. He points out that this technology, adopted to cleanse River Yamuna, has been found to be successful.