Encroachments on temple sites and in surrounding areas to be removed in three months
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) will form teams to check the structural stability and quality of electrical works in temples across the State, said HR&CE Minister Sevur S. Ramachandran.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, he said the renovation work would be taken up based on the report of the teams. Encroachments on temple sites and in surrounding areas would be removed in three months, he added.
Pointing out that the expert committees had been formed to assess the damage in Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, where a major fire broke out last week, he said improvement work in the ravaged mandapam would be taken up after the committees formed by district administration and the department submit their report. “Other structures are safe. Action is being taken to remove shops located inside the temple,” he said.
Elaborating on the steps to reclaim temple properties, the Minister said that in the past seven years, nearly 2,653 acres of land had been reclaimed from private parties, apart from buildings and vacant plots, worth nearly ₹3,354 crore.
About missing idols, he said some cases were pending in courts. The department was installing burglary alarms in temples.
The Minister instructed the officials to intensify surveillance of the temples and submit reports on steps to ensure fire safety in temples.
There are 38,000 temples under the control of the department.
HR&CE commissioner R. Jaya was present.