“Gold jewels received as donations over the last nine years will be melted into gold biscuits to be deposited in banks. By way of 2.5 per cent interest, the proposed plan would generate annual revenue of Rs 20 crore. It could be used to carry out development works in temples,” he told reporters after inspecting the ongoing works at Sugavaneshwarar Temple and Kottai Mariamman Temple in Salem.
The Minister said that the 30 temple elephants in Tamil Nadu will be subjected to medical examination twice a month as against the current practice of once in every month. Also, arrangements are underway to build tanks for elephants to bathe in their respective temple premises, he said.
Sekar Babu reiterated that temples under HR and CE control are not private properties and they will never be handed over to individuals for administration. He also said that efforts would be taken to fill up vacancies and make permanent those, who have worked for more than five years in state temples.
The HR and CE has been preparing a master plan to perform ‘kumbabishekam’ and execute renovations in 539 temples, which generate a revenue of more than Rs 10 lakh. Also the delay in receiving rental for temple properties is being regulated, encroachments evicted and temple lands are fenced, he said. Later in the day, the Minister visited Sangameswarar Temple in Bhavani in Erode district.