NEW DELHI: Allowing the roof restoration works of the sanctum sanctorum, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the temple authorities of Kerala’s Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple to repair it along with the two tanks which are in bad condition.
The order was passed after hearing the plea made by senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter and he highlighted the issue and said that restoration work of roof of sanctum sanctorum and of deity is urgently needed.
He said that the two tanks in the temple, where the head priest used to take a dip before offering prayers also needed urgent attention as it is filled up with filth and other materials and stated that the physical condition of temple was pathetic and broken idols measuring two kg were found in plastic bags and cleaning of temple was necessary.
Subramaniam had earlier in his report highlighted several serious irregularities in the management of the temple and its wealth.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar directed the Kerala Water Authority to bear the cost of `28 lakh for cleaning of drainage, sewage and construction debris from the temple premises.
“Given the importance of the issue Kerala Water Authority without tendering will commence work on its own to ensure that the project is completed before the onset of monsoon by May 15 and the report be fortnightly submitted to the amicus curiae about the work done,” the bench said while slating the hearing for April 17.
The court also directed the Supreme Court appointed committee of administrators to issue notice and invite express of interests for restoring the roof of sanctum sanctorum, deity and two tanks of temple from experts in restoration work having experience in such works.
In his 577-page report, Subramaniam had earlier sought an order for audit of the wealth of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai.
The temple, an architectural splendour in granite, was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House which had ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before integration of the princely state with Indian Union in 1947.
The temple is governed by a trust controlled by the erstwhile royal family for whom Lord Padmanabha (Vishnu) is the family deity.