Tamil Nadu

Employ architecture college graduates as stapathis: HC

Judge concerned as committee is not meeting frequently

The Madras High Court on Monday directed the State government to implement within three months the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Engineering and Subordinate Service Rules. and to give priority to graduates from institutions such as the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture (GCAS) at Mamallapuram while making appointments to the posts of engineers, draftsman and stapathi.

Justice R. Mahadevan issued the direction after finding that the government continued to engage traditional stapathis despite the GCAS having been established in 1957 to create trained hands in designing, building, repairing and resurrecting temple structures as well as idols.

He said with pain that only a handful of graduates from the college had managed to set up studios while others had switched professions.

After recording the submission that a Government Order was issued on August 9, 2019 for setting up a renovation and conservation wing with 175 posts, including 90 posts of Engineer, Draftsman and Stapathy, the judge said that there should be at least one stapathi in each of the 28 blocks of HR&CE department.

All these posts should be filled strictly in accordance with the required qualification, knowledge and experience, he added.

Although Section 7 of the Hindu Religious and Charitable EndowmentsAct of 1959 read with the rules framed thereunder require the constitution of an Advisory Committee, chaired by the Chief Minister, and expect it to meet at least once in six months to take stock of maintenance of temples across the State, “no such meetings are being conducted and as a result, many temples have been left in a lurch,” the judge lamented in his verdict.

He directed the government to constitute the Advisory Committee and in absentia, permit another committee headed by the principal of the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture to give countersign and give opinions on renovation of temples and resurrection of idols, images, paintings, pillars, scriptures or any other matter of ancient or historical importance.

Such committee should invite suggestions from various experts before carrying out the renovation exercise, he said.

‘Reduce services’

Wondering how engineers from the Public Works Department and other allied departments could be used for temple restoration activities, which require deep knowledge of the agama sastra, the judge ordered:

“The services of staff from other departments is to be periodically reduced keeping in mind the period of deputation. In case of any need, their services should be used only for the limited purpose of estimation and civil works.”

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 1:56:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/employ-architecture-college-graduates-as-stapathis-hc/article30563894.ece

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