Sculpture gallery work to be completed at a cost of Rs. 5.25 lakh

Minor renovation works are under way at Tirumalai Nayak Palace here.

A. Ganesan, Assistant Director, State Archaeology Department, said that 16 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras would be installed in the palace to check vandalism on the pillars.

Since last week, labourers were busy applying white cement on the tombs of the palace after completion of which they would paint it afresh. The open gallery containing exquisite sculptures would get an asbestos shed and each sculpture would be labelled, said Mr. Ganesan. The main gate to the palace was likely to get a facelift. The works at the sculpture gallery would be completed at a cost of Rs. 5.25 lakh. A reverse osmosis plant and modern toilet facilities would be established with funds allocated by MLA R. Annadurai and all works would be completed by the end of March.

Meanwhile, visitors suggested that entry tickets for the palace and children’s park on its premises should be sold at the same counter. “We are asked to buy tickets for the park and the palace, located in the same compound, at different counters. Besides, we have to buy separate tickets for vehicle parking,” said a visitor.

Officials of Archaeology Department said the park was maintained by the Madurai Corporation. “The land where the park is set up originally belongs to the Archaeology Department. The corporation took it over to set up the park as part of a Tourism Department’s initiative but had not returned the land to us after establishing the park. Instead, it had set up separate counters and priced entry tickets at Rs, 2,” said an official. Sometimes, a few visitors trespassed into the palace with only tickets for the park and not the palace. This lead to revenue loss to the State, he claimed.

“The ticket for the park is only Rs 2 whereas it is Rs 10 for the palace. Visitors purchase tickets for Rs. 2 and trespass into the palace,” said the official. He said the Archaeology Department favoured parking of tourist vehicles within the palace premises free of cost.

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