The management of the Hindu Temple at Batu Caves is set to construct an escalator at the popular tourist site and iconic temple this year. This new addition aims to provide a more convenient alternative for both devotees and visitors, offering them an easier means of reaching the Sri Subramaniar cave temple in Gombak, Selangor, in comparison to ascending the traditional 272 steps. This development is expected to enhance the overall accessibility and experience for those who frequent this cultural and religious landmark.
Tan Sri R. Nadarajah, who serves as the chairman of the temple committee, has announced plans for two significant projects set to kick off later this year following the Thaipusam celebration. One of these endeavors involves the installation of an escalator, providing a more accessible route for devotees and visitors. Simultaneously, the committee is embarking on the construction of a versatile multipurpose hall, anticipated to incur an estimated expenditure of RM35 million. These initiatives underscore the committee’s dedication to improving the temple’s amenities and infrastructure, reinforcing their commitment to enhancing the overall experience for the community and devotees.
The commencement of construction for both the escalator and the new multipurpose hall is scheduled to take place after Thaipusam.
We hope the government will help us because this year we are going to put up an escalator for the (disabled) and elderly, who cannot climb the steps to get to the main temple,” Nadarajah said at a press conference with human resources minister Steven Sim.
Nadarajah expressed gratitude to V Sivakumar, the former representative of Batu Gajah, for allocating RM1 million to the temple in the previous year. The funds were specifically designated for maintenance purposes, and Nadarajah acknowledged this contribution with appreciation.
In a separate announcement, Minister Sim disclosed that his ministry is coordinating the dispatch of 200 volunteers to Batu Caves to assist the temple committee in managing logistical challenges during the Thaipusam festival. Additionally, the Social Security Organisation (Socso) is preparing to establish a booth with officers present to aid eligible devotees and visitors in registering for its Housewife Social Security Scheme.
Minister Sim underscored that leveraging the expected large crowd at Batu Caves presents an opportunity to enhance awareness and aims to enroll more housewives in their target of reaching 500,000 sign-ups for the Housewife Social Security Scheme this year. This initiative aligns with the ministry’s broader objective of expanding social security coverage.
Furthermore, Minister Sim expressed his intention to engage in discussions with the health ministry regarding reported fee increases and heightened frequency for medical examinations conducted by Fomema Sdn Bhd for migrant workers. This underscores the ministry’s commitment to addressing relevant issues affecting various sectors, ensuring the well-being and compliance of the workforce.
“Fomema is under the health ministry so it’s difficult for me to make any comments here. However, I will discuss the suggestions given by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) with the health ministry,” Sim said.
As per information from Sun, the anticipated escalator at Batu Caves is poised to become the longest escalator in Southeast Asia. Moreover, it is projected to rank among the longest escalators in Asia, following closely behind Hong Kong’s Central Mid-Level escalator, which spans 800 meters, and China’s Huangguan escalator in Chongqing, measuring 112 meters.
The planned construction of an escalator and multipurpose hall at the Hindu Temple in Batu Caves signals a significant step toward improving accessibility and enhancing experiences for devotees and visitors. With the support of government initiatives and volunteer efforts, these transformative projects aim to create a more inclusive environment. Ultimately, these enhancements are expected to offer a better experience for devotees in the future, ensuring that the temple remains a cherished cultural and religious landmark.