In violation of height norms, buildings enshroud temple

The State government’s orders restricting the height of buildings to 10 metres within 1 km radius of the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy devasthanam in Vemulawada here is being openly flouted. Private constructions, mostly hotels and lodges, are going beyond the stipulated construction norms and have completely covered the raja gopuram of the historic temple.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, during his visit to the temple in June 2015, had announced the removal of illegal structures that were taller than the gopuram to protect the sanctity of the temple, also known as Dakshi Kashi.

Following the instructions, the Vemulawada Nagara Panchayat authorities began demolishing the structures violating the norms of ground-plus-two floors in the vicinity of the temple. The drive, however, was discontinued allegedly following political pressure, and upgrade of the panchayat into a municipality.

Since then, more structures, mostly four-storey buildings, have come up around the temple. Though a government order dated May 24, 2016, imposing height restrictions was issued, the Vemulawada municipal authorities have been inefficient in checking the violations, allege temple authorities.

“We informed the municipal authorities about the illegal structures on several occasions, but in vain. They had identified at least 84 buildings which were flouting the height norms stipulated by the government, but the officials preferred to look the other way,” said a temple official, adding that a demolition drive must be launched without further delay. “It is not auspicious if buildings surrounding the temple are taller than it,” he added.

Municipal authorities, on their part, said they would the demolition drive would be taken up only after permission is duly taken from the State government, and asserted that they would not succumb to political pressures and take all measures for maintaining the sanctity and grandeur of the temple.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 4:43:02 AM |

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