(MENAFN- Live Mint) "Amid the increase in the number of devotees arriving for pilgrimage, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Sunday decided to increase the 'darshan' timings at the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala here by an hour, reported news agency PTI on 10 December official from the district administration said that the Board decided to modify the darshan timings in the second half of the day from 3 pm to 11 pm instead of from 4 pm to 11 pm official also said that water and biscuits were being provided to devotees waiting in the queues for darshan, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Sathessan alleged the facilities for devotees were inadequate with pilgrims having to wait 15 to 20 hours for darshan. He claimed that devotees were not even being provided water READ: Meet Yathish Chandra, the cop spoiling the BJP's sacred games in SabarimalaHe also claimed that not enough police personnel have been deployed at Sabarimala to assist the devotees, guidelines of the Kerala High Court regarding arrangements for pilgrims have not been implemented and even adequate ambulance services were not available to him, if immediate steps were not taken, there would be a severe crisis for devotees at Sabarimala. Satheesan urged the state government to take the matter seriously the meantime, several devotees were seen on TV channels complaining that they had been standing in queues for more than 10-12 hours for darshan. Apart from this, pilgrims were also seen stuck in traffic jams along the route to Sabarimala, IG Sparjan Kumar said that the police requested the TDB to restrict the number of devotees to 75,000 per day said that during the present third phase of the pilgrimage, the number of devotees shot up with around 90,000 bookings being made through virtual queue and nearly 30,000 via spot booking each day addition, there are more children, women, and elderly people this time and these have affected the efforts to make devotees climb the Pathinettampadi (18 divine steps) quickly, the officer said annual 41-day Mandalam-Makaravilakkku pilgrimage to the hilltop shrine began on November 16, the first day of the auspicious Malayalam month of Vrichikam ensure a safe and smooth pilgrimage for all devotees, the government introduced a dynamic queue-control system this season to manage to crowd at 'Sannidhanam'.With agency inputs.
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