‘Can't pay temple staff Rs 15K during lockdown'

The state government informed the Madras High Court on Friday that there exists no scope in paying Rs 15,000 per month for skilled and semi-skilled people such as archakas and adyapakas who work for the temples under the control of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR and CE) and Rs 7,500 per month for the other unskilled persons as sought for.
‘Can't pay temple staff Rs 15K during lockdown'

Chennai

The submission was made before a division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha by the HR&CE, Joint Commissioner S Sivakumar that the plea put forth by the petitioner is arbitrary and not based on any records. However, the bench on seeking details regarding the number of temples that remained closed during the period posted the plea for further hearing to July 22.
The HR&CE Department submitted that ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 was paid to the 33,627 beneficiaries under the Village Temple Poosaries Welfare Board.
Along with this, ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 was paid in two spells to 13,000 employees working in small temples.
Countering the suggestion of the petitioner RR Gopaljee, publisher, Dinamalar (Trichy-Vellore Division), of utilising the 30 per cent of the surplus funds from affluent temples, the HR&CE said that the fund is being utilised to build strong rooms for safeguarding of idols.

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