Distribution of State aid for temples in Malabar region sanctioned in two financial years begins

Temples under the Malabar Devaswom Board and various other private trusts in north Kerala will benefit from a total government aid of Rs.8 crore to undertake renovation.

The distribution of funds, through the offices of five Devaswom Assistant Commissioners, which was formally inaugurated by M.K. Raghavan, MP, here on Sunday, will be completed in the Malabar region within a couple of weeks.

The board officials said the renovation package would include the amount sanctioned by the government in 2011-12 and 2012-2013 financial years. Though the fund was sanctioned, it was not distributed in the previous fiscal.

Two phases

In the first phase, 965 temples were selected for the aid. The list included no fewer than 62 temples managed by backward communities.

In the second phase, 829 temples, including 244 privately controlled ones, were considered for the aid. Over 45 temples managed by the backward communities, which were badly in need of financial support for renovation work, were considered for the aid.

Malabar Devaswom Board Commissioner K. Chandran said the government considered the requests from all needy temples equally, which even included temples controlled by local temple committees and families.

“The total renovation fund sanctioned by the government in 2011-12 financial year was Rs.3.5 crore, which rose to Rs.4.5 crore the next fiscal,” he said.

Temples those suffered damages in unexpected calamities in the Malabar region were also covered in the relief package.

The largest amount was sanctioned for the Ayyappa temple at Chamravattom that suffered huge damage in a fire accident in March 2013. A portion of the roof of the temple building had gutted in the incident.

Temple arts academy

In the current fiscal, the board would focus on the timely completion of the proposed Temple Arts Academy at Madayi in Kannur district. A government aid of Rs.50 lakh would be utilised to realise the proposal. Board authorities said that the academy would offer courses in fours streams, covering ‘Vadyakala’, ‘Sopana Sangeetham,’ classical music and classical dance. Till getting a deemed university status, the academy would be affiliated to the Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture, they added.

‘Resume temple land’

“The re-possession of encroached land is vital for the revival of temples in the Malabar region,” said M.K. Raghavan, MP. He was speaking after inaugurating the distribution of financial aid for renovation of temples, Mr. Raghavan said the formation of a separate land conservation unit was also needed for the purpose. Stressing on the need for even distribution of financial resources among various temples, Mr. Raghavan said the revenue received from big temples should be utilised for the welfare of small temples as well.

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