Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Police initiative - www.sabarimala.keralapolice.gov.in - to promote online booking for darshan at Sabarimala became a huge hit. The software was developed by constables without costing a penny. The number of devotees who have used the system crossed 3.5 lakh within 10 days of its launch. It was the idea of south zone ADGP P Chandrasekharan who had mooted this idea to control the rush by giving devotees the facility to book for darshan in advance.
The main advantage of online booking is that the devotees won't have to stand in queue anywhere other than the Sannidhanam, he said. The devotees, after covering Neelimala and Appachimedu, had to wait in long queues for hours in Sabaripeetom. Two years before, some age-old people who were unable to stand in long queues complained about it, he said.
Through online booking, devotees can find less crowded hours and opt for darshan. The aim is to provide darshan time for 1000 devotees and next year the number would be doubled to 2000.
As per the direction of the ADGP, the computer cell of State Crime Records Bureaus, arranged the programme Advance Queue Placement Facility. Mukesh MR constable is the developer of the software. Though not sophisticated, outside agencies charge a hefty amount to develop this but the group created the software without spending a rupee. It was on November 16 that the facility came into effect. Those who come with the printout of the booking can enter the Sannidanam through Chandranandan road without going through the flyover at Marakootam. If they show copies of ID card, they would be directly led to the Pathinettam Padi