National Institute of Technology submits interim report on the same issue

The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchi, submitted an interim report to the Madras High Court Bench here on Monday following a direction issued by the court on January 23 to study the feasibility of extracting water from 22 Theerthams in Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram through non-electrical means and sprinkling it on the devotees in order to avoid wastage of water and ensure hygiene.

After taking the report on file, a Division Bench of Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani directed the Vice-Chancellor of Anna University also to conduct a similar study and file a report by February 21.

The reports were called for following two public interest litigation petitions filed in the court alleging unhygienic conditions at the Theertham sites due to heavy influx of devotees wanting to take bath in the holy water.

In the interim report, NIT Director S. Sundarrajan said a team comprising one professor, one Assistant Professor, five third-year B.Tech students and four second-year B.Tech students visited the temple on February 8 and conducted a reconnaissance survey in the 22 Theerthams. Water samples were collected and taken to NIT campus in Tiruchi for analysis.

The analysis of critical quality parameters on the 22 samples would take at least a week. Only after that, the team would be able to formulate innovative methods to sprinkle the water, he said, and sought time till March 10 to file the final report.

Already, a team from Thiagarajar College of Engineering here had visited the temple following directions passed by the court in March 2013 and submitted their suggestions to the court.

Their suggestions included pumping the water with electric motors and sprinkling it on the devotees with the help of sensors.

However, the Division Bench headed by Mr.Justice Sudhakar was particular in introducing a non-electrical sprinkler system in order to avoid mishaps.

Earlier, in their report, three Court-appointed advocate commissioners confirmed the unhygienic conditions prevailing at the Theertham sites.

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