He said the development of a few temples in the state on par with that of Tirupati Balaji Temple was among the suggestions made by Chief Minister MK Stalin during a departmental review last month.
“To begin with, Tiruchendur Murugan Temple, the second of Lord Muruga’s six abodes which receives lakhs of pilgrims, would be taken up. We have planned to improve basic amenities like transport, drinking water, parking and sanitation facilities apart from developing queue line complexes there,” he said.
The queue line complexes would be able to accommodate 7,000 to 10,000 people at any given time. It has been designed in such a way that the temple would be able to handle one lakh pilgrims per day, Sekar Babu said.
The department has partnered with HCL for the Tiruchendur Temple development plan. “We discussed the ideas with the MLA and MP of the constituency recently. The final decision would be made next month and taken to the notice of the Chief Minister. Finally, a master plan would be prepared and actions taken,” the Minister added, disclosing that consecration of the temple would also be included in the master plan.
Proposing to take up other temples like Palani Dhandayuthapani Temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple and Samayapuram (queue complex under construction there) gradually, the Minister said the government was already studying the revenue flow of resourceful temples to consider distributing signature prasadam (like Laddu in Tirumala) to the pilgrims.
The Minister also said that a committee has been constituted to revive the idea of converting gold received in temple Hundis into gold bars and depositing them for interest in nationalized banks in the state.