CHENNAI: Two years after 347 families were evicted from MSP Nagar at Maduravoyal to Gudapakkam, around 30 kilometres away, a single temple is still left standing a few metres away. Cooum restoration work is carried out around the temple so as to not disturb it, leaving the shrine standing on an island of its own on the river. The reason for leaving the temple being left out, according to PWD officials, is it was found locked. This temple is one of the many religious structures left standing, long after the communities that worshipped there have been packed off to faraway places.
Temples and churches are still seen in Om Sakthi Nagar, Aminjikarai, Kambar Nagar and Choolaimedu where evictions were done earlier.“The people here had been asked to find a priest to take the idol elsewhere. We have not had time for it so far,” said Anthony Rajan, a shop owner near the temple. Bund formation and widening are being carried out on the stretch.
According to officials, the reason for sparing religious structures is because there is a procedural delay. “Usually, we give the community time to salvage the idol and other things and then, the superstructure will be demolished. Since this is a sensitive issue, we leave it to the community as far as possible,” said an official,who wanted anonymity. Before demolishing temples, it must be reported to Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department who will inspect the idols, official said.