Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president Prayar Gopalakrishnan has said that the devotees should come forward to protect the customs and traditions attached to various temples in the State.

Inaugurating a cultural meeting at the Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple on Sunday, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said there was no question of permitting any external interference in the matters relating to the customs and tradition at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. He further reiterated that the Tantri (chief priest) was the last word with regard to ritualistic matters of a temple.

The TDB chief said the Union government has sanctioned Rs. 2 crore for the Centrally-sponsored Prasad Darshan scheme, though the board had sought Rs. 5 crore for the same.

He said the TDB would make every every possible arrangements to avert any sort of drinking water problem at Sabarimala during the ensuing annual pilgrim season in the backdrop of the ban on PET bottles at Sabarimala. Steps have been taken to open more counters for uninterrupted supply of medicated drinking water and purified water at Pampa, Sannidhanam and along the trekking path, he said.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan said it would not be possible for the TDB to install the new Aravana plant supplied by the business tycoon, Ravi Pillai, this year.

However, there would not be any problem in the production and distribution of Aravana and Appam at Sabarimala, he said.