When Faith Turns Barrier

Published: 09th December 2014 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2014 06:04 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: A day after the Chennai Corporation demolished the Needhi Karumariamman Temple aka MGR Temple, on NSC Bose Road following  the Madras High Court’s directive, City Express surveyed the city and discovered several such temples obstructing smooth flow of traffic on several busy stretches across the city.

These include Arulmigu Sri Mariamman Temple on Third Avenue in Ashok Nagar, Kaliamman Koil on Kaliamman Koil Salai in Virugambakkam and Puthu Koil on Abusali Street in Virugambakkam.

G Janardhanan, a motorist, said  that vehicle users faced a tough manoeuvre with a temple in the middle of the road in Ashok Nagar, during peak hours.

“For people who regularly take the stretch to reach Ashok Pillar and then proceed towards Guindy, this poses a major challenge. It is fine, if commuters are used to riding the stretch, but for motorists taking the route for the first time, it is a horrifying experience, as they risk bumping into the temple,” he added.

S Arumainathan, president of Virugambakkam Residents’ Welfare Association, said that the Kaliamman Koil near Virugambakkam Market was built decades ago.

The temple, which was on the side of the road, was extended later and brought to the middle of the road. Now, the extension of Kaliamman Koil Salai cannot be done without shifting the temple.

A Corporation official in the ward said during the extension process, the temple would be shifted to the corner.  But at the moment it didn’t hinder traffic movement, he added.

Similarly, Puthu Koil on Abusali Street is a major obstacle for free flow of traffic during peak hours.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, it doubles the inconvenience for commuters as women gather here for worship, said a resident of the area.

It may be recalled that the Madras High Court ordered the demolition of the MGR Temple in December 2013, ruling that the construction on the footpath was an encroachment and caused inconvenience to pedestrians.

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