The moat around the Big Temple here, under the maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India, remains neglected.
While the ASI has been taking good care of the temple which was built by King Raja Raja Cholan, the much-talked-about work on renovating the moat by filling it with water and introducing boating facility, has failed to take off so far.
The project was expected to be taken up at a cost of Rs.25 crore as announced by Union Minister of State for Culture Narayanasamy during the millennium celebrations of the Big Temple last September.
Mr.Narayanasamy, who visited the temple during the celebrations, had announced that Rs. 25 crore will be given by the ministry for renovating the moat and improving the temple. “The money is yet to be received,” said ASI sources. The release of funds will aid in renovating the moat, officials said.
Though the temple was under the control of the ASI, the moat around the temple was in the control of Thanjavur Municipality. Despite a few hitches, the Municipality was willing and hence passed a resolution to hand over control of the moat to the ASI.
During the millennium celebrations, water was filled in a portion of the moat.
People are also eagerly awaiting the construction of a bridge parallel to the Irwin bridge across Grand Anaicut canal near Big temple.
A sum of Rs.1 crore was allotted for the purpose by the State government and work has also kicked off near the millennium park.
However, the ASI has not given the clearance certificate in this connection and hence the work has been stopped. People feel that a parallel bridge might decongest traffic on the road opposite the Big Temple.
Incidentally, the sadhaya vizha of King Raja Raja Cholan, is celebrated on November 4 and 5.