Exclude non-heritage temples from HR&CE notification: PIL


A public interest litigation petition filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday sought a direction to exclude non-heritage and non-ancient temples under its administrative control, from the government notification which emphasises on prior approval for renovation or repair.

The petitioner Periyanambi Narasimha Gopalan of Tirunelveli complained that as per the notification issued by the HR and CE Department, guidelines were set to temples, particularly towards renovations and repairs. According to the notification issued to all the Joint Commissioners of temples, prior approval must be obtained for renovation works for which an estimate must be declared.

State and Regional level Heritage Screening Committees have been approved by the Government to look into the estimates. The Joint Commissioner shall approve the estimates after it is looked into by the committee. The process also recommends an archaeological expert to visit the temple. The recommendations should be placed before the Screening Committee, both at State and Regional Committee. The estimate will then be approved, he said.

The said notification was applicable to ancient and heritage temples. However, some temples, which are built in villages and of recent origin, can be excluded from the notification. These temples are made of bricks and do not carry any murals or inscriptions like those of ancient and heritage temples. It will be strenuous on the villages to wait for approvals to even carry out minor repairs, he said.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Nisha Banu directed the Counsel representing the HR and CE Department to get instructions on this regard. The case is adjourned to July 30.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 3:23:54 PM |

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