Temple Poojaris Welfare Association has urged the State government to reduce the eligibility age for sanction of pension to temple priests. A resolution was adopted at a meeting of the association’s office-bearers here on Monday with K.Kulandaivelu, State consultative committee member, in the chair.

He said the eligibility for sanction of pension to priests should be reduced to 55 from 60. There were over six lakh priests in the State, the association claimed, and said although many of them were aged, only 400 of them were getting pension under the present eligibility norms. The pension should be given to more number of priests, it said.

It also requested the State government to sanction a monthly assistance of Rs. 1,000 to village temple priests.

Priests should be allotted houses under the green house scheme.

It urged the government to stop auctioning of cows donated to temples in Tiruchi district and ensure that they were given to priests as per the decision of the State government.