The Centre on Tuesday told the Kerala High Court that the Army may not be able to undertake construction of a temporary Bailey Bridge on Njunangar river at Pampa, located on the foothills of Sabarimala, on short notice “on account of operational requirement in the North-East part of the country.”
The submission was made by the Centre before a bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar.
Marking the beginning of the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season, devotees on Tuesday trekked up the Sabarimala to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa Temple.
During the hearing of the matter in the post-lunch session, the Assistant Solicitor General appearing for the Centre also told the court that a formal communication was yet to be received from the Army Headquarters (HQ) with regard to the state government’s request for construction of the temporary Bailey Bridge.
The lawyer for the state government said he shall get necessary instructions on the alternatives for construction of a temporary bridge across Njunungar river.
On November 13, the High Court was told by the Centre that if a proper request is received from the State government or the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) for construction of a temporary Bailey Bridge across the river, the station commander of Pangode Military Station shall forward it to the Army Headquarters for appropriate orders.
On Monday, the State government had told the High Court that the request was submitted on November 13 itself.
The Centre had said the request was received on November 14 and has been forwarded to the Army HQ and a decision is awaited.