Tamil Nadu

‘Will take steps to lift ban on carrying mobile phones into Meenakshi temple’

Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Wednesday said he would make efforts to lift the ban on carrying mobile phones into Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple as part of giving a fillip to tourism in Madurai.

The remark came during a discussion on Madurai Master Plan 2041 held at the Collectorate here.

The consultant, who prepared the Master Plan, said there was a sharp decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting Madurai in the last four years. While 3.28 lakh foreigners visited the Temple City in 2016, the number came down to less than 75,000 in 2020.

When Madurai Travel Club president G. Raveendran raised the issue of campaign against tourism potential in Madurai and consequent fall in the numbers of international tourists, the ban on carrying mobile phones into the temple came up for discussion.

A few participants said taking photographs of many places and sculptures inside the temple with mobile phones used to be a major attraction. One of them said international tourists were allowed to take photographs even during the non-darshan timing.

Taking mobile phones inside the temple was banned due to a case related to something else, Mr. Thiaga Rajan said.

When former Minister R.B. Udhayakumar said the issue was pending with the Home Department, the Finance Minister said he would take up the issue with the Home Department. “Ban on carrying mobile phones was only in Madurai and not in any other temple in the State,” he contended.

“If security on flights can be ensured while allowing mobile phones after scanning, the same can be done in the temple too,” Mr. Thiaga Rajan said.

A participant wanted to revive the ‘sound and light show’ at Tirumalai Naick palace, which was a big hit among tourists.

Senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry S. Rethinavelu suggested that tourist hubs should be promoted in an aggressive manner.

Mr. Rethinavelu said lack of permission for foreign airliners to operate their flights to Madurai was also a reason for the fall in the number of tourists visiting the Temple City.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:54:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/will-take-steps-to-lift-ban-on-carrying-mobile-phones-into-meenakshi-temple-madurai/article37098172.ece

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