The Aadhi Peddhapalli Ganagaiamman temple in Iyyanoor near Ambur has become the first temple in the State to have been relocated from the National Highway without demolition, to a safer spot 42 feet away, using the cost-effective ‘lift-shift-roller’ technology.
The highway is presently undergoing six-laning expansion work and the temple was located in the path. Instead of demolishing the temple, the villagers sought an alternative solution that was offered by a Haryana-based company to move the temple with its foundation.
The work began on January 3, 2014 and within a month, the temple has been moved to its new location.
“We are happy that the temple has been shifted without any damage,” said Moorthy, president of the temple Seva Sangam.
When the six-laning work came up last year, the villagers were at a loss until they stumbled upon TDBD Engineering Works Ltd, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana. First, excavations under the temple were made and a steel frame to hold heavyduty jacks numbering around 150 was fixed under the 100-tonne temple structure.
The temple was slowly pushed on rails and on Monday the structure reached its new location on a six-foot deep foundation that was kept ready to house the structure.
A 17-member team from the company worked for almost 13 days to push the temple after lifting it from its foundation. “After final alignment, the temple would be fixed at the new location,” Moorthy said, recalling, “When we made a proposal about moving the temple, most villagers here were skeptical, but now they are happy.” While the temple committee received a compensation of `10 lakh from the highway department, the villagers relocated the temple at a cost of `5 lakh using modern technology to move the structure.
“Think of constructing a new temple that could cost around `20 lakh and it would take more than a year. We have saved so much effort, manpower and time,” Moorthy said.
The villagers are busy planning the consecration of the temple, which would take place in the next 10 days, ahead of its annual festival in May.