Two panels formed to manage Sigandur Chowdeshwari temple

The Chowdeshwari temple at Sigandur in Sagar taluk is in the centre of a controversy.  

Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner K.B. Shivakumar has issued an order constituting two committees to look after Chowdeshwari temple at Sigandur in Sagar taluk, which hit the headlines recently over differences between the trustees and priests of the temple.

The DC, in his order issued on Friday, said the monitoring committee would include the Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner of Sagar sub-division, a retired district judge, and an auditor. The advisory committee would include the Minister in charge of the district, MLA of Sagar, Lok Sabha member of Shivamogga, the trustee of Sigandur Chowdamma Devi Trust Ramappa, and the chief priest of the temple Sheshagiri Bhat.

The committees have been formed in the wake of recent controversies over the temple administration. Many organisations had appealed to the State government to bring the temple under the Muzrai Department, citing financial mismanagement in the administration. There were allegations that the trust had built many structures encroaching upon forest area. Recently, the differences between Mr. Ramappa and Mr. Bhat had attracted the attention of media.

The DC had visited the temple last week. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa too had held a meeting on the issue during his recent visit to Shivamogga.

The DC, in his order, said the site where Sigandur Chowdeshwari temple existed was part of Soppina Betta, within the wildlife forest area in Kargal range. Sigandur Chowdeshwari Trust had built a temple, lodge, dining hall, toilets, marriage hall, hotel, parking yard and commercial complexes by encroaching upon 20 acres of government land. The tahsildar of Sagar had ordered for the demolition of illegal structures on October 30, 2015, itself. The DC also noted irregularities in maintaining the records of valuables offered by the devotees.

Citing these issues, the DC said he had submitted a report to the State government. Referring to a high court order concerning a temple in Chikkamagaluru district, the DC has favoured Muzrai Department taking over the temple. He constituted the committee to look after the temple management until the government takes a further decision.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 10:48:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/two-panels-formed-to-manage-sigandur-chowdeshwari-temple/article32938268.ece

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