‘20 temples across Tamil Nadu set to be lifted to prevent waterlogging during rain’

Updated - May 16, 2024 11:49 am IST

Published - May 16, 2024 12:30 am IST - CHENNAI

Course correction: The Raveeswarar temple at Vyasarpadi is among the temples to be lifted, says an engineer. File

Course correction: The Raveeswarar temple at Vyasarpadi is among the temples to be lifted, says an engineer. File | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

At least 20 temples across the State that are below the street-level are set to be lifted. During the last monsoon, even the sanctum sanctorum of all these temples were heavily flooded, necessitating this exercise, sources in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department said.

The State-level Heritage Screening Committee, constituted by the Madras High Court, under the control of the Department has granted clearance to these temples for the exercise. “Temple managements kept asking permission to demolish and reconstruct the existing structures because of the [waterlogging] problem. In some places, the temples were about four feet below the road level, making them inaccessible during rain. Regular pujas could also not be performed during rain. The Committee decided to try out this [lifting] method and so far, it has been successful in several cases,” a source said.

Minister P.K. Sekarbabu said it was the duty of the HR&CE Department to ensure that regular pujas were performed without any disruption. “We first tried the [lifting] technology at the Karpaga Vinayakar temple in Adyar, and the move was appreciated by devotees. Cutting the walls at the ground level, constructing an elevation using bricks and if need be, strengthening them with concrete beams, incur lesser expense than rebuilding the entire structure,” he said.

A structural engineer associated with the project said that Nagavalli Amman temple at Avadi, Chidambareswarar temple in Choolai, Raveeswarar temple at Vyasarpadi, Anjaneyar temple at Senji, and a Sivan temple at Mayavaram, among others, were to be lifted. The cost of the equipment per square foot and labour is ₹250 to ₹300. The materials work out to another ₹300 to ₹250 per sq ft and new constructions, ₹4,000 per sq ft, he added. At the Raveeswarar temple, sunlight no longer enters the sanctum sanctorum as it is at a lower level than the road. “This will be corrected after the repairs,” the engineer said.

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