CHENNAI : The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has directed the district judges in the State to submit reports about the prevailing condition of the temples coming under the HR&CE department in their respective jurisdiction, as per the earlier directions of the Apex Court.A division bench of Justices M V Muralidharan and T Krishnavalli gave the direction while passing further interim orders on a PIL petition from R S Kalyanaraman of Rajapalayam, on July 27 last.
The PIL prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned to introduce bio-metric device to mark and record the entry of the authorised staff into the sanctum sanctorum alone and consequently streamline the administration of Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple in Tiruchendur by forming a committee of HR&CE officials and the Thoothukudi Collector.The bench passed an elaborate order giving various directions to the HR&CE and temple authorities on June 1 last. When the matter came up on Monday for compliance, the bench noted that several directions had not been complied with, the bench said and issued a few more directions to be complied with.
In addition, the judges said that temple authorities should keep in mind that they should be pioneers in protecting and preserving the clean and potential environment in and around the temple premises by planting a number of various kinds of trees.The district judges shall find out the feasibility of providing separate queue for the senior citizens and children below six years to enable them to worship the deity conveniently. They shall submit an interim report before this court on or before September 30 in this regard, the bench added and posted the matter for further hearing on October 1.
Coming to the case on hand, the judges said that the Commissioner, HR&CE shall approve the request dated July 20 of the Joint Commissioner/EO of the temple for granting licence and pursuant to that, issue ID cards to the legally eligible ‘Trisuthanthirars’ and‘Kaingariasthars’ for the temple, within two weeks. Immediately on receipt of such approval order from the Commissioner, the JC/EO shall issue the licence and the ID cards to the legally eligible persons and complete the proceedings within two months. The two officials shall see to it that only legally appointed archakas are performing poojas in all sannadhis, including the parivar sannathis.
Immediate arrangements shall be made for free air-flow and ventilation inside the temple through the available ventilator on the top of the temple, after getting prior approval from the Heritage Committee appointed by this court. The officials shall provide an uninterrupted drinking water supply in and around the temple. The district administration has to provide adequate drinking water supply.
Amenities for devotees
Availability of toilet facilities with good sanitation in the temple, drinking water, hygienic atmosphere around the temple premises, maintenance of temple structure as such, security arrangements, illegal collection of money for darshan and more