A Madras high court-appointed committee has reportedly taken on the Tamil Nadu government for poor maintenance of temples in the state. The court has not taken too kindly to the shabby renovation and upkeep of ancient temples in the state.
The Times of India reports,
Ancient inscriptions have been casually removed and replaced with tiles, enamel paintings have been erased, new constructions have come up abutting temple structures, electrical junction box rooms and water tanks are found next to gopurams, and offices have been built within temple complexes for executive officers, the panel said.
“It inspires little confidence as to whether any kind of care is being taken during temple renovations,“ it told the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam, which had constituted the committee, and made former advocate general P S Raman its head and amicus curiae to assist the court.
The court was hearing a case which was taken up by the court suo motu after media reports of the government’s lackadaisical approach towards maintaining temples. A PIL which was earlier filed on this account was also taken up along with it.
The report based on which furore ensued said that there is no statute, rule or guidelines for undertaking renovation, repairs or maintenance of heritage temples in their original condition, according to TOI.
The PIL had been filed over the state of affairs at the 16-century-old Sri Thiagaraja Swamy temple in Tiruvottiyur in north Chennai. The PIL alleged that they had built a modern office with toilet right next to a shrine. The PIL said that the flooring of the shrine which contained 1000-year-old inscriptions was removed.