CHENNAI: The decade-old impasse on shifting the Iraniamman Temple in Perungalathur for widening the Grand Southern Trunk (GST) road ended after a private company agreed to donate 10.4 cents for building a new temple off the GST road.
The present eight-lane road from Perungalathur narrows when it passes near the Vandaluru gate owing to the temple. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) needed eight meters of the temple land for developing an addition.
The deity, Iraniamman, is believed to be the protector of motorists travelling on the road. Many truckers and bus drivers heading towards the delta and southern districts offer worship, even at night, at the temple, seeking the deity's intervention for a safe journey.
The existing structure of the temple was built by an automobile manufacturing company in 1984 when the small temple of Iraniamman deity was shifted from the foothills of Vandalur hills. According to officials from Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE), the temple could be over 80 years old.
Widening of the road was proposed by the NHAI in 2010. After a section of people from Vandalar opposed the demolition of the temple, the NHAI widened the road leaving the temple intact. As a result, the width of the GST road shrinks near the temple.
In this backdrop, a few villagers petitioned the district administration, claiming that a private company near the temple encroached 25 cents meant for the temple and asked the authorities to retrieve them.
The revenue authorities, however, said the company had not encroached the temple land in any manner, but received a land parcel from the government for lease.
After multiple peace meetings held by Tambaram Revenue Divisional Officer D Ravichandran, the company agreed to donate 10.4 cents of land to HR&CE department for building a new temple.