A fact-finding team of UNESCO has informed the Madras High Court that the lacunae in temple conservation work by the state government in Tamil Nadu has badly affected some of the most historic shrines, which include two near Chennai, reported The Times of India.
The report stated that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR & CE) does not have capacity nor quality experts to carry out work on these monuments. Moreover, no proper system is being followed for documenting, assessing, reporting and tendering of heritage works, the report said.
The UNESCO conducted a study between May and June in 10 temples in Tamil Nadu to understand the conservation process used by HR&CE department.
The study was conducted in temples like Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Nellaiyappar temple and Vanamamalai Perumal temple in Tirunelveli, Marudhakali Amman temple in Namakkal, Nageswara Swamy temple in Kumbakonam, Naganadha Swamy temple in Manambadi, Aadhi Narayana Perumal temple in Pazhaverkadu near Chennai, Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai, Ranganathaswami temple in Srirangam, Trichy and Kamatchi Amman temple in Kancheepuram, reported TOI.
Last year, the Madras High Court had asked UNESCO to be part of restoration projects of Tamil Nadu temples. The court has asked the state government to include UNESCO and requested their presence in the court by August 23. The High Court had also clarified that the government should slow down works on the monuments and it should carry out work only if they thought that the delay will lead to its collapse.
The report also stated that UNESCO could carry out a demonstration on one of temples to show the guidelines to be followed while carrying out conservation works. The department might also get macro level management support from UNESCO to maintain 38000 registered by them, reported TOI.