“4,714 temples consecrated since May 2006 with Rs. 523 cr spent for kumbabhishekam works alone”
Mahasamprokshanam of the Kallazhagar Temple at Alagarkoil near here will be performed after February only after the minor works at its Rajagopuram are completed, according to R. Shampath, Commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department.
The Commissioner told The Hindu that most of the remaining consecration-related works at the temple had been completed. “The board of trustees wants the mahasamprokshanam to be performed only after all works are over. So, a date after February will be fixed soon.”
The works were suggested by a team of engineering experts, which had recently inspected the Rajagopuram, estimated to be more than 500 years old, to ascertain the structural stability of an ornamental pillar located in its first tier.
The expert team from Thiagarajar College of Engineering in Madurai district comprised K. Arunachalam, Head, Department of Civil Engineering, K. Sudalaimani, Professor, Civil Engineering Department, and S. Kannan, college building engineer. Further, a few other prominent structural engineers have also been invited to assess the structure and give their opinion.
Speaking about the repairs works of the 1,100 years old temple wall, a portion of which collapsed on November 30 following heavy rains, he said that estimate had been revised to Rs. 80 lakh from the earlier Rs. 50 lakh.
“The revised estimate has been approved. The repair work will ensure that the temple wall looked exactly as before. The tender, based on the revised estimate, will be called immediately,” he said.
4,714 temples consecrated
Giving a State-wide figure, Mr. Shampath said that consecration had been performed for 4,714 temples across Tamil Nadu since May 2006 with over Rs. 523 crore sanctioned for consecration-related development works alone.
As for Gold Card scheme, which was announced to raise funds for improving basic amenities in temples, 51 members had enrolled, he said, adding that Rs. 2.5 crore had been raised.
“We are expecting another 50. Also, the HR and CE department is actively encouraging donations for small rural temples under our control as big temples have no problem in attracting donors.”