Chennai: The city’s landmark temple — Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple at Triplicane, has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 40 lakhs during the demonetisation drive.
Reports indicate that the temple officials could not barter the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as they could not get the nod to open the hundial for counting in the presence of senior official.
And the delayed had proved rather expensive for the temple which is 61st among the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive launched on Nov.8, 2016, to contain black money circulation and crack the whip on the use of illicit and counterfeit currency notes to fund terror, had imposed a deadline to the temples’ hundial offerings too just as it mandated the residents to exchange the notes by December end of 2016.
The temple officials had sought permission from a Joint Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) department official who was given the additional charge of Thakkar (fit person) for the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple. By the time permission was given and the banned currency that was offered to the Lord, was counted, there has been an inordinate delay and the temple officials could not exchange about Rs. 40 lakhs with the RBI.
The then Commissioner of HR & CE initiated proceedings against two officials for the excessive delay that had caused a huge revenue loss to the temple.
According to sources, taking a stern view, the Commissioner was said to have issued a memo seeking explanation. “The inability to exchange the notes on time apart, not appointing a separate Thakkar or Chairman Temple Board of Trustees for Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple has made the temple lose its revenue. The additional charge of managing this temple has been given to a Joint Commissioner of another temple,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.
Temples earn more than Rs 15 crore during demonetisation
The demonetisation drive had almost filled the hundials of many temples across the State making them richer by over Rs.15 crore. The Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy temple, Palani, had obtained about Rs. 5 crores, while many special grade temples like the Sri Subrahmanya Swamy temple, Tiruchendur, and Sri Kapaleeswarar temple, Mylapore here, and Devi Karumari Amman temple, Thiruverkadu, were among the special grade temples that had received the offerings in the banned notes running to huge sum each. Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple, it is said, earns revenue of Rs. 8 crore annually.