Staff Reporter

Rs. 1.37-crore work expected to be completed in six months

MADURAI: The golden chariot work for Lord Murugan temple at ‘Tirumaliruncholai’ atop Alagarkoil hill near here was inaugurated on Friday by K. R. Periakaruppan, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE).

The cost of the chariot is estimated at Rs. 1.37 crore and the work is expected to be completed within six months.

The HR and CE Department was coordinating with the departments of Tourism, Local Administration and Forest to provide basic amenities to devotees at all temples in the State, he said.

“Golden chariot work had been completed in 10 temples since the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) came to power two years ago. In another 13 temples, the work is progressing,” he said.

In the last two years alone, Rs. 208 crore had been allotted for long-pending temple renovation works.

However, he said, in the previous five years, only Rs. 147 crore was allotted.

Mr. Periakaruppan said that ‘kumbhabishekam’ had been performed for over 2,700 temples in the past two years. The Chief Minister was particular that the ceremony should be performed once in 12 years.

Stringent action had been initiated to recover temple assets. As temples were facing increased threat perception, security had been beefed up in coordination with the police and district administration, said Mr. Periakaruppan.

Temple Executive Officer A. Ilambarithi said that while the temple would use its funds for half the project cost, the rest would be met by donations from the public.

Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare A. Tamilarasi and Mayor G. Thenmozhi were present.

R. Dhanapandiyan, chairman, board of trustees for the temple; K. Rajanayagam, Executive Officer of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, and R. Sudarshan, Joint Commissioner, HR and CE, also participated.