The Coimbatore Corporation removed yet another temple from one of the main roads in the city on Monday, stating that it was an unauthorised structure that impeded traffic flow. This took the total number of temples demolished over the last two months to 12.
Temples encroaching space for traffic are among the list of unauthorised structures prepared by the civic body in its drive to rid the city's roads of impediments to smooth flow of vehicles.
The drive has now become a part of the ongoing efforts to improve the city's infrastructure before the World Classical Tamil Conference from June 23 to 27.
“We have removed 12 temples so far from major roads across the city, the sizes ranging from 64 sq.ft. to 2,000 sq.ft. All these were done only after many rounds of discussions with the residents or organisations that had constructed these structures,” Assistant Town Planning Officer S. Ravichandran said on Monday after carrying out the demolition of a 100 sq.ft. temple on Syrian Church Road that was overseen by South Zone Assistant Commissioner A. Lakshmanan.
The Corporation even provided time for these people to remove the temples themselves. Only when the deadline was not met, did the Corporation carry out the demolition. The idols were also removed after pujas as per the Hindu religion. These were kept at another authorised place of worship.
The official explained the approach adopted by the Corporation in the wake of a demonstration by the Temples Liberation Struggle Committee over the demolition drive. Though the Corporation had identified all the unauthorised places of worship, the current phase of the drive prioritised the removal of those that occupied a large portion of any road and choked traffic.
As for the temple removed on Monday, the official said only the structure had been constructed by the people in the locality. They had not installed the idol and performed the consecration.
At the spot where it was constructed, the temple had reduced the width of the road from 40 ft to 30 ft. The official said the residents did not protest against the demolition. The Corporation team also removed a workshop nearby that encroached a portion of the road.
Keywords: Traffic regulation