Udupi, May 12, 2016: Addressing media, MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary, on May 11, Wednesday stated that the State government had withdrawn Rs. 11.5 crore grants given to 240 temples in Udupi district for renovation.
The government had released Rs. 20 crore grants for renovation works of 361 temples in the district in 2012-13. Of these 361 temples, 70 had completed their works, while works in 121 temples were nearing completion. But the renovation works of the remaining 170 temples were in different stages of construction.
At this stage, the district administration has withdrawn the grants released to the temples that had already taken up renovation works, without giving any reasons. The grants, thus withdrawn works out to Rs. 11.5 crore.
When he asked the officers of the Muzrai Department about the withdrawal, they did not even know the reason. This sudden withdrawal shows the “irresponsible and lax attitude” of the government to the temples, he said.
Giving some examples, MLC Poojary said that an amount of Rs. 10 lakh had been granted for the renovation works of Satyanarayana Mandira at Hejmady. But in fact, only Rs. 5 lakh had been released.
In the case of Nagayakshini temple in Jansale village, a grant of Rs. 3 lakh was sanctioned but never released. Such incidents had left the temple management committees high and dry. Besides, incomplete temple structures looked odd.
“Whether the government believes in temples or not, the people in the district have a lot of faith in them. It is their faith which should be respected,” he said.
Urban Development Minister and district in-charge Vinay Kumar Sorake should look into the matter and take immediate action to release all pending dues. If the government failed to take any action in the matter within a week, the BJP, Bharatiya Janata Party workers will stage a dharna in front of the Udupi DCs office, he said.