CHENNAI: HR and CE Minister Sevvoor S Ramachandran on Friday said a committee would be formed to study the situation arising out of the presence of shops on the premises of temples under the department control across the State. Action would be taken without affecting the livelihood of the shop-keepers as well as keeping the temple administration in mind. A final decision would be taken in this regard as per the advice of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
Addressing a press conference ahead of a review meeting of HR and CE department here, he said the State government had established idol protection centres wherever necessary and temple officials were fully cooperating with the investigation regarding stolen idols.
Asked about the steps being taken in temples for fire prevention, the minister said already fire-prevention arrangements were in place in all temples. Committees would be formed to check the existing wiring system and that was one of the key points on the agenda of the meeting held on Friday.
Responding to a question as to whether the 1000-pillar mandapam in Madurai was affected by the fire, the minister replied in the negative. Answering another question, the minister said during the past seven years, 2,653 hectares of temple lands and 620 grounds of house sites which were under encroachment had been recovered. Besides, temple buildings located in 203 grounds had also been recovered. The total cost of these lands and buildings was `3,354 crore.